Ultra-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and sensitive bioassay methods for quantification of posaconazole plasma concentrations after oral dosing.Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Dec; 54(12):5074-81.AA
Posaconazole (POS) is a new antifungal agent for prevention and therapy of mycoses in immunocompromised patients. Variable POS pharmacokinetics after oral dosing may influence efficacy: a trough threshold of 0.5 μg/ml has been recently proposed. Measurement of POS plasma concentrations by complex chromatographic techniques may thus contribute to optimize prevention and management of life-threatening infections. No microbiological analytical method is available. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a new simplified ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method and a sensitive bioassay for quantification of POS over the clinical plasma concentration range. The UPLC-MS/MS equipment consisted of a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, an electrospray ionization (ESI) source, and a C(18) analytical column. The Candida albicans POS-hypersusceptible mutant (MIC of 0.002 μg/ml) Δcdr1 Δcdr2 Δflu Δmdr1 Δcan constructed by targeted deletion of multidrug efflux transporters and calcineurin genes was used for the bioassay. POS was extracted from plasma by protein precipitation with acetonitrile-methanol (75%/25%, vol/vol). Reproducible standard curves were obtained over the range 0.014 to 12 (UPLC-MS/MS) and 0.028 to 12 μg/ml (bioassay). Intra- and interrun accuracy levels were 106% ± 2% and 103% ± 4% for UPLC-MS/MS and 102% ± 8% and 104% ± 1% for bioassay, respectively. The intra- and interrun coefficients of variation were 7% ± 4% and 7% ± 3% for UPLC-MS/MS and 5% ± 3% and 4% ± 2% for bioassay, respectively. An excellent correlation between POS plasma concentrations measured by UPLC-MS/MS and bioassay was found (concordance, 0.96). In 26 hemato-oncological patients receiving oral POS, 27/69 (39%) trough plasma concentrations were lower than 0.5 μg/ml. The UPLC-MS/MS method and sensitive bioassay offer alternative tools for accurate and precise quantification of the plasma concentrations in patients receiving oral posaconazole.