High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of bile pigments as their native tetrapyrroles and as their dipyrrolic azosulfanilate derivatives

J Chromatogr. 1990 Aug 3;529(2):287-98. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(00)83835-9.


A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis of bile pigments is described that provides baseline separation of the major bilirubin conjugates found in bile. The advantage of the technique is that the bile pigments can be analyzed directly as their native tetrapyrroles without prior solvent extractions or derivatization. The use of ammonium acetate in place of sodium salts permits preparative isolation and lyophilization of the pigments for mass spectroscopy. The derivatization of the pigments as their dipyrrolic azosulfanilates with subsequent HPLC analysis demonstrates baseline separation of the endo- and exovinyl azodipyrroles and allows identification of that half of the tetrapyrrole which contains the conjugate in the instances of monoglycosides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azo Compounds / chemistry*
  • Bile Pigments / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Hydrolysis
  • Jaundice / genetics
  • Jaundice / metabolism
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Pyrroles / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Sulfanilic Acids / chemistry*
  • Tetrapyrroles


  • Azo Compounds
  • Bile Pigments
  • Pyrroles
  • Sulfanilic Acids
  • Tetrapyrroles