Determination of plasma amino acids by gas chromatography

Labadarios D. ; Shephard G.S. ; Botha E. (1986)


A complete methodology, incorporating a novel clean-up technique, for quantitative determination of amino acids in plasma by gas chromatography is described. Glucose, a component causing major analytical interference, is removed by an enzymic reaction included in the pre-chromatographic clean-up. The procedure for derivatisation of amino acid standards is shown to be reproducible down to a level of 2.5 μg for each amino acid, relative standard deviations for all amino acids except arginine and histidine being 3% or lower. For the entire procedure applied to plasma, relative standard deviations for most amino acids below 5% with recoveries ranging from 90 to 120%. Normal values, obtained using eighteen plasma samples, are in reasonable agreement with published data. Plasma amino acid values were determined simultaneously by gas chromatographic and ion-exchange chromatographic techniques. Statistical evaluation shows there to be no significant difference between corresponding values for eleven amino acids. Values for tyrosine, histidine and particularly phenylalanine show significant differences (p < 0.001).

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