Quantification of glyoxal, methylglyoxal and 3-deoxyglucosone in blood and plasma by ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry: evaluation of blood specimen

Jean L. J. M. Scheijen*, Casper G. Schalkwijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

101 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: The reactive alpha-oxoaldehydes glyoxal (GO), methylglyoxal (MGO) and 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DG) have been linked to diabetic complications and other age-related diseases. Numerous techniques have been described for the quantification of alpha-oxoaldehydes in blood or plasma, although with several shortcomings such as the need of large sample volume, elaborate extraction steps or long run-times during analysis. Therefore, we developed and evaluated an improved method including sample preparation, for the quantification of these alpha-oxoaldehydes in blood and plasma with ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC MS/MS). Methods: EDTA plasma and whole blood samples were deproteinized using perchloric acid (PCA) and subsequently derivatized with o-phenylenediamine (oPD). GO, MGO and 3-DG concentrations were determined using stable isotope dilution UPLC MS/MS with a run-to-run time of 8 min. Stability of alpha-oxoaldehyde concentrations in plasma and whole blood during storage was tested. The concentration of GO, MGO and 3-DG was measured in EDTA plasma of non-diabetic controls and patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Results: Calibration curves of GO, MGO and 3-DG were linear throughout selected ranges. Recoveries of these alpha-oxoaldehydes were between 95% and 104%. Intra- and inter-assay CVs were between 2% and 14%. Conclusions: To obtain stable and reliable alpha-oxoaldehyde concentrations, immediate centrifugation of blood after blood sampling is essential and the use of EDTA as anticoagulant is preferable. Moreover, immediate precipitation of plasma protein with PCA stabilized alpha-oxoaldehyde concentrations for at least 120 min. With the use of the developed method, we found increased plasma concentrations of GO, MGO and 3-DG in T2DM as compared with non-diabetic controls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • 3-deoxyglucosone
  • glyoxal
  • liquid chromatography
  • methylglyoxal
  • tandem mass spectrometry
  • type 2 diabetes

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