Assessment of Isoprostanes in Human Plasma: Technical Considerations and the Use of Mass Spectrometry

Lipids. 2016 Nov;51(11):1217-1229. doi: 10.1007/s11745-016-4198-x. Epub 2016 Sep 26.


Oxygenated lipid mediators released from non-enzymatic peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are known to have functional roles in humans. Notably, among these lipid mediators, isoprostanes molecules are robust biomarkers of oxidative stress but those from n-3 PUFA are also bioactive molecules. In order to identify and assess the isoprostanes, the use of mass spectrometry (MS) for analysis is preferable and has been used for over two decades. Gas chromatography (GC) is commonly coupled to the MS to separate the derivatized isoprostanes of interest in biological samples. In order to increase the accuracy of the analytical performance, GC-MS/MS was also applied. Lately, MS or MS/MS has been coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography to assess multiple isoprostane molecules in a single biological sample without derivatization process. However, there are limitations for the use of LC-MS/MS in the measurement of plasma isoprostanes, which will be discussed in this review.

Keywords: GC–MS; Isoprostanes; LC–MS/MS; Lipid peroxidation; Neuroprostanes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Isoprostanes / analysis
  • Isoprostanes / blood*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Isoprostanes