Determination of catecholamines in human plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography: comparison between a new method with fluorescence detection and an established method with electrochemical detection

J Chromatogr. 1989 Jan 27;487(1):17-28. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(00)83003-0.


We report a sensitive fluorimetric method, in which catecholamines are concentrated from plasma by liquid-liquid extraction and derivatized with the selective fluorescent agent 1,2-diphenylethyl-enediamine prior to chromatography. Optimal conditions for extraction, derivatization and chromatography were investigated. With alpha-methylnorepinephrine as internal standard, the chromatographic separations are complete within 6 min. Limits of detection are 0.3 pg for norepinephrine and epinephrine and 0.5 pg for dopamine. Coefficients of variation are low (3-7%). Comparison of plasma catecholamine values determined with this method and with an established method with electrochemical detection (n = 135) shows good correlation (r = 0.94-1.00), and regression lines are close to lines of identity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dopamine / blood*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods*


  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine