Urinary metabolite quantification employing 2D NMR spectroscopy

Anal Chem. 2008 Dec 1;80(23):9288-97. doi: 10.1021/ac801627c.


Two-dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a fairly novel method for the quantification of metabolites in biological fluids and tissue extracts. We show in this contribution that, compared to 1D 1H spectra, superior quantification of human urinary metabolites is obtained from 2D 1H-13C heteronuclear single-quantum correlation (HSQC) spectra measured at natural abundance. This was accomplished by the generation of separate calibration curves for the different 2D HSQC signals of each metabolite. Lower limits of detection were in the low to mid micromolar range and were generally the lower the greater the number of methyl groups contained in an analyte. The quantitative 2D NMR data obtained for a selected set of 17 urinary metabolites were compared to those obtained independently by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of amino acids and hippurate as well as enzymatic and colorimetric measurements of creatinine. As a typical application, 2D-NMR was used for the investigation of urine from patients with inborn errors of metabolism.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / urine
  • Citric Acid / urine
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hippurates / urine
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urine / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • Hippurates
  • Citric Acid
  • Creatinine
  • hippuric acid