Lipid peroxidation as measured by chromatographic determination of malondialdehyde. Human plasma reference values in health and disease

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2021 Sep 30;709:108941. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2021 Jun 17.


Free radicals and oxidants are involved in physiological signaling pathways, although an imbalance between pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant systems in favor of the former leads to major biomolecular damage. This is the so-called oxidative stress, a complex process that affects us all and is responsible for the development of many diseases. Lipids are very sensitive to oxidant attack and to-date, malondialdehyde (MDA), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and F2-isoprostane are the main biomarkers for lipid peroxidation assessment. They all derive from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) either by enzyme-catalyzed reactions (physiological) or by non-enzyme reactions (pathological). The profile of PUFAs present in the tissue will determine the proportion of each biomarker. In this review we aim to discuss the proper method for MDA determination using HPLC. We also offer reference MDA values in humans in physiological and pathological conditions.

Keywords: 4-HNE; HPLC; Lipid peroxidation; MDA; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / standards
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Frailty / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology*
  • Malondialdehyde / blood*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Malondialdehyde / standards*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / blood
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood
  • Reference Values


  • Biomarkers
  • Malondialdehyde