A high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was developed for the simultaneous quantification of five major bioactive constituents in the stems of resiniferous Dracaena plants from China and Vietnam, as well as those in the related traditional Chinese medicinal preparations. A diode array detector with the wavelength of 330 nm was used to monitor resveratrol, 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone and pterostilbene, while loureirin A and loureirin B were monitored at 280 nm. The five constituents were separated on an Agela SB C(18) column by gradient elution using 0.008% (v/v) formic acid solution (A) and acetonitrile (B) as the mobile phase. The validation of the method included recovery, linearity, accuracy and precision (intra- and inter-day variation). The range of recoveries of this method was 98.1-104.9%, with all the constituents showing good linearity (r(2) > 0.9999). The accuracy and precision were satisfactory, with the overall intra- and inter-day variation being less than 4%. The present method has been successfully applied for the determination of all five constituents in 21 related herbal samples including 10 D. cochinchinensis stem samples, seven D. cambodiana stem samples and four purchased medicinal preparations. The contents of these constituents were analyzed using principal component analysis, which can efficiently identify raw herb of Dracaena from different sources. The study may be considered helpful to the quality control of Dracena plants and its medicinal preparations.
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