Inositol Analysis by HPLC and Its Stability in Scavenged Sample Conditions

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Inositol is a 6-carbon sugar alcohol that has been shown in limited studies to reduce retinopathy of prematurity and chronic lung disease in premature newborns. Developmentally it has a high concentration in the fetus that decreases with gestational age. It is transported from the fetus to the mother across the placenta. Although studies are underway to determine inositol kinetics in premature newborns treated therapeutically, the effects of gestational age, age after birth, and feeding on inositol concentrations after birth have not been studied adequately in premature newborns. Such studies would minimize blood removal and trauma in preterm newborns by using plasma samples scavenged from the clinical laboratory to measure inositol after birth, if they remain stable. This report describes a new high pressure liquid chromatographic assay for inositol and its use to study the stability of inositol in conditions of storage that might be encountered within the clinical laboratory. The assay is linear from 0 to 1000 Mm with a lower limit of quantitation of 50 μM. Inositol in human plasma remains stable in refrigeration and at room temperature for up to 14 days and is not affected by storage in red blood cells that are intact or lysed. Anticoagulants encountered in clinical blood samples do not interfere with the chromatograms. Thus, it is feasible to measure the changes in inositol concentrations in plasma from preterm newborns that is scavenged from the clinical laboratory after storage for as long as 14 days.