Simultaneous analysis of E1 and E2 by LC-MS/MS in healthy volunteers: estimation of reference intervals and comparison with a conventional E2 immunoassay.


Monitoring estrogen levels, especially estradiol (E2), is amongst others important for determining menopausal status and guidance of breast cancer treatment. We validated a serum E2 and estrone (E1) liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry assay (LC-MS/MS) suitable for quantitation in human subjects. In addition, we compared our method with an E2 immunoassay (IA) and established preliminary reference values. Validation parameters were within the predetermined acceptance criteria. Assay linearity ranges were 4-1500 pmol/L for E1 and 4-2500 pmol/L for E2. Imprecision ranged from 7.4 to 9.6%. The lower limit of quantitation for E2 (8.0 pmol/L) was 11.4 times lower than the IA. The method comparison revealed differences in E2 quantitation up to 155% between both methods. The method allowed quantitation of E1 in all healthy volunteers, while E2 could not be detected in 95% versus 40% of the post-menopausal women using IA and LC-MS/MS, respectively. Male, pre-, peri- and postmenopausal female reference values were estimated. An LC-MS/MS based method combining E1 and E2 analysis was validated with superior E2 analytical sensitivity when compared to the IA.

More about this publication

Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences
  • Volume 1178
  • Pages 122563
  • Publication date 15-07-2021

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