Quantitative Determination of Taurine and Related Biomarkers in Urine by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry


Current urinary bladder cancer diagnosis is commonly based on a biopsy obtained during cystoscopy. This invasive method causes discomfort and pain in patients. Recently, taurine and several other compounds such as L-phenylalanine and hippuric acid in urine were found to be indicators of bladder cancer. However, because of a lack of sensitive and accurate analytical techniques, it is impossible to detect these compounds in urine at low levels. In this study, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), a noninvasive method was developed to separate and detect these compounds in urine. 15N2-L-glutamine was used as the internal standard, and creatinine acted as an indicator for urine dilution. A phenyl-hexyl column was used for the separation at an isocratic condition of 0.2% formic acid in water and 0.2% formic acid in methanol. Analytes were detected in multiple-reaction monitoring with positive ionization mode. The limit of detection range is 0.18-6 nM and the limit of quantitation ranges from 0.6 to 17.6 nM. The parameters affecting separation and quantification were also investigated and optimized. Proper clinical validation of these biomarkers can be done using this reliable, fast, and simple method. Furthermore, with simple modifications, this method could be applied to other physiological fluids and other types of diseases.



Keywords and Phrases

Amino Acids; Analytes; Analytical Techniques; Biological Marker; Biomarkers; Bladder Cancer; Body Fluids; Chromatography; Diagnosis; Diseases; Formic Acid; High Performance Liquid Chromatography; High Pressure Liquid; Hippuric Acid; Human; Internal Standards; Invasive Methods; Ionization Modes; Isocratic Conditions; LC-MS/MS; L-glutamine; Limit Of Detection; Limit Of Quantitations; Liquid Chromatography; Liquids; Low Level; L-Phenylalanine; Mass Spectrometry; Methanol; Multiple Reaction Monitoring; Noninvasive Medical Procedures; Noninvasive Methods; Physiological Fluids; Quantitative Determinations; Sensitivity And Specificity; Separation; SIMPLE Method; Simple Modifications; Tandem Mass Spectrometry; Taurine; Urinary Bladder Cancer; Urine; Urine Dilution

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2012