An LC-MS/MS-based method for the simultaneous quantification of melatonin, cortisol and cortisone in saliva.


Disturbances in the diurnal pattern are associated with several clinical and psychological conditions, including depression and fatigue. Salivary sampling for melatonin, cortisol and cortisone provides a non-invasive method for frequent sampling and obtaining biochemical insight into the diurnal pattern of individuals. Therefore, a new liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method for the measurement of salivary melatonin, cortisol and cortisone was developed and validated. The method required 250 μl saliva, used isotope dilution methodology and was based on a liquid-liquid extraction for sample preparation, reversed-phase chromatography and multiple reaction monitoring on a mass spectrometer for quantitation. The lower limits of quantification obtained were 0.010 nmol/L for melatonin, 0.5 nmol/L for cortisol and 1.00 nmol/L for cortisone and the limits of detection were 0.003 nmol/L, 0.15 nmol/L and 0.1 nmol/L respectively. The method imprecision was ≤14% for all measurands, and the method comparison showed highly comparable results with high correlation coefficients (all ≥0.964). Potential interference of cortisol and cortisone by prednisolone was observed and could be detected by chromatogram review. Typical diurnal patterns for melatonin, cortisol and cortisone were observed in the saliva of 20 cancer survivors who collected saliva throughout the day.

More about this publication

Analytical biochemistry
  • Volume 689
  • Pages 115496
  • Publication date 01-06-2024

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