Table of Contents
ISRN Chromatography
Volume 2012, Article ID 828719, 7 pages
Research Article

Dried Blood Spot Sampling with LC-MS Analysis for Routine Therapeutic Caffeine Monitoring in Neonates

1Leicester School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK
2Centre for Therapeutic Evaluation of Drugs in Children, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK

Received 27 September 2012; Accepted 15 October 2012

Academic Editors: M. C. Bruzzoniti, L. Chen, and C. M. Remsberg

Copyright © 2012 Graham Lawson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed and validated for the determination of therapeutic levels of caffeine in dried blood spot (DBS) samples. Caffeine is used in the treatment of Apnoea of Prematurity (AoP) in newborn children. Calibration DBS samples were prepared by spotting 15 μL of whole blood spiked with the analyte onto specimen collection cards. 3 mm disks cut from the centre of the DBS were extracted in methanol containing the internal standard. The extract was separated using a Zorbax Eclipse Plus C18 column and the MS, operated in electrospray positive ion mode, used single ion monitoring at m/z 195 for caffeine and m/z 198 for the IS. The overall extraction recovery of caffeine from spiked blood spots was demonstrated to be 44–47%. Validation of the microanalytical method showed good precision (coefficient of variation) and accuracy (relative error) and specificity and was linear within the tested calibration range 500–25000 ng/mL for caffeine. Investigation of different specimen collection papers revealed different matrix effects with significant ion suppression from the FTA Elute paper itself. Requiring only a microvolume (15 μL) blood sample for analysis, the developed DBS based microanalytical method has the potential to facilitate the routine monitoring of caffeine in neonates.