Generally, it is recommended that blood samples for homocysteine detection should be centrifuged immediately to separate plasma in order to avoid continuous synthesis by blood cells. The use of a micro plasma collection card may improve sample stability and result accuracy by offering automatic and instant plasma separation. We compare a micro plasma collection method with routine wet plasma to explore applications of the dried plasma spots for homocysteine determination by using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The method was validated for both dried plasma spots and wet plasma. The assay was linear from 0.5-45 μmol/L with good precisions and accuracies. The extraction recovery and matrix effect for dried plasma spots were >97% and 0.98 after internal standard normalization, respectively. It was reproducible for retaining homocysteine in dried plasma spots and kept stable for 30 days. The plasma conversion factor was 7.77 ± 0.7% by calculating the ratio of homocysteine concentration between dried plasma spots and wet plasma (n = 165). Neither hematocrit nor homocysteine concentration affected the plasma conversion factor as long as the hematocrit was within the normal range. The results support the clinical usefulness of the dried plasma spots as a convenient and stable biological matrix for testing homocysteine.
Keywords: dried plasma spots; homocysteine; liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry; micro plasma collection card.
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