A sensitive HPLC-MS/MS method for the determination of dolutegravir in human plasma

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2014 Jan 15;945-946:225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2013.11.054. Epub 2013 Dec 3.


A sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay was developed and validated to facilitate the assessment of clinical pharmacokinetics of dolutegravir (DTG) in plasma samples. This work describes an assay system requiring only a 20μL aliquot of human plasma that is subjected to a simple acetonitrile protein precipitation containing a stably labeled isotope of DTG used as an internal standard. Chromatography was performed on an XBridge C18, 2.1mm×50mm, reversed phase analytical column, using a 60:40 acetonitrile/water mobile phase containing 0.1% formic acid. Detection of the analyte and internal standard was achieved by ESI positive ionization tandem mass spectrometry. The precursor/product transitions (m/z) monitored were 420.1/136.0 and 428.1/283.1 for DTG and DTG-IS, respectively. The dynamic range of this assay extends from 5 to 10,000ng/mL, with a mean coefficient of determination (r, mean±SD) of 0.9996±0.0003. The mean precision values for calibration standards ranged from 0.7 to 4.1%, while accuracy values were 98.3 to 102.0%. Validation results demonstrated high accuracy (≤6.5% deviation) and high precision (≤9.1% CV) for the quality control samples. This assay system provides an accurate, precise, and sensitive method for DTG quantitation and was successfully applied to clinical research samples as part of a phase I/II pediatric clinical trial.

Keywords: ARVs; AUC; AcN; CV; DMSO; DTG; Dolutegravir; EDTA; EFV; EVG; HIV; Human; INSTI; IPA; IS; Integrase inhibitor; LC–MS/MS; LLOQ; MRM; Mass spectrometry; MeOH; NRTI; PK; QC; RAL; UDP-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1; UGT1A1; ULQ; acetonitrile; antiretrovirals; area under the concentration–time curve; coefficient of variation; dimethyl sulfoxide; dolutegravir; efavirenz; elvitegravir; ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid; human immunodeficiency virus; integrase strand transfer inhibitor; internal standard; isopropanol; liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; lower limit of quantitation; methanol; multi reaction monitoring; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; pharmacokinetic; quality control; raltegravir; upper limit of quantitation.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors / blood*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / blood*
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring
  • dolutegravir