Sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method for profiling phytoestrogens using coulometric electrode array detection: application to plasma analysis

Anal Biochem. 1999 Oct 1;274(1):110-7. doi: 10.1006/abio.1999.4247.


An HPLC method for profiling 13 phytoestrogens and their metabolites using coulometric electrode array detection was developed. Sensitivity of the method was slightly less than that of our GC-MS method, but significantly higher compared to the HPLC methods using diode-array or UV detection. Detection limits varied from 3.4 (secoisolariciresinol) to 40.3 (genistin) pg on column. Signal linearities ranged from the detection limits to 61 ng on column. Resolution values for the peak pairs varied from 1.1 (O-desmethylangolensin-anhydrosecoisolariciresinol) to 16 (daidzin-genistin). Intra- and interassay retention time variations were negligible and detector response variation was eliminated by frequent calibration. Chromatographic method was applied to plasma analyses and 6 of the 13 compounds were detected. Method accuracy for those six analytes varied from 69% (enterodiol) to 118% (genistein). Intraassay precision CVs ranged from 1.5% (enterolactone, 12.4 nmol/liter) to 14% (genistein, 245 nmol/liter) and interassay precision CVs ranged from 9.9% (daidzein, 67.4 nmol/liter) to 44% (enterodiol, 1.20 nmol/liter).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / blood*
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / isolation & purification
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones*
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations
  • Plants
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Isoflavones
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations