Bridging the Polar and Hydrophobic Metabolome in Single-Run Untargeted Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Dried Blood Spot Metabolomics for Clinical Purposes

J Proteome Res. 2021 Aug 6;20(8):4010-4021. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.1c00326. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


Dried blood spot (DBS) metabolite analysis is a central tool for the clinic, e.g., newborn screening. Instead of applying multiple analytical methods, a single liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed for metabolites spanning from highly polar glucose to hydrophobic long-chain acylcarnitines. For liquid chromatography, a diphenyl column and a multi-linear solvent gradient operated at elevated flow rates allowed for an even-spread resolution of diverse metabolites. Injecting moderate volumes of DBS organic extracts directly, in contrast to evaporation and reconstitution, provided substantial increases in analyte recovery. Q Exactive MS settings were also tailored for sensitivity increases, and the method allowed for analyte retention time and peak area repeatabilities of 0.1-0.4 and 2-10%, respectively, for a wide polarity range of metabolites (log P -4.4 to 8.8). The method's performance was suited for both untargeted analysis and targeted approaches evaluated in clinically relevant experiments.

Keywords: LC−MS; dried blood spots; inborn errors of metabolism; metabolomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics*