Analysis of 12 Different Pentacyclic Triterpenic Acids From Frankincense in Human Plasma by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Photodiode Array Detection

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2003 Oct 5;795(2):355-62. doi: 10.1016/s1570-0232(03)00555-5.


For the determination of pentacyclic triterpenes of the boswellic acid family in human plasma a novel sensitive method was developed combining serial extraction on diatomaceous earth and graphitized carbon black followed by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and photodiode array detection. The overall average extraction yield of 12 different pentacyclic triterpenic acids was approximately 66%. The calibration graphs were linear with coefficients of correlation for all compounds greater than 0.999. The overall within-day and between-day coefficients of variation (CV) for the 12 pentacyclic triterpenic acids were 5.6 and 6.8%, respectively. This HPLC procedure delivers the analytical sensitivity, precision and accuracy required for clinical pharmacokinetic and therapeutic studies.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Boswellia / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet / methods*
  • Triterpenes / blood*
  • Triterpenes / pharmacokinetics


  • Triterpenes