Therapeutic drug monitoring of retinoids

Julia Klein, Deolinda Fernandes, Anne Pastuszak, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Retinoids are natural or synthetic compounds related to vitamin A. They are successfully used in the treatment of dermatological disorders. However, one of the limiting factors in the use of retinoids is their huge teratogenic potential. The investigation into the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of retinoids has encountered many difficulties due to lack of suitable techniques to deal with these labile compounds. Because of the teratogenic nature of the retinoids, the sensitivity of the assay is of utmost importance. We report a systematic comparison between two high-performance liquid chromatographic methods used to monitor levels of etretinate and its metabolites acitretin and 13-cis-acitretin in plasma. Our analysis suggests that the column-switching method is superior owing to smaller variability in results and its simplicity. We also describe our therapeutic drug monitoring program for counseling women of reproductive age following etretinate or acitretin exposure. Presently, labeling of etretinate in North America suggests that women should refrain from conception for an undetermined length of time. Assessment of serum concentrations over time is beneficial in defining the length of period to postpone conception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • 13-cis-Acitretin
  • Acitretin
  • Column switching
  • Etretinate
  • High-performance liquid chromatography


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