Stereoselective RP-HPLC determination of esmolol enantiomers in human plasma after pre-column derivatization

Yi Hong Tang, Ying He, Tong Wei Yao, Su Zeng

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17 Scopus citations


A stereoselective reversed-phase HPLC assay to determine S-(-) and R-(+) enantiomers of esmolol in human plasma was developed. The method involved liquid-liquid extraction of esmolol from human plasma, using S-(-)-propranolol as the internal standard, and employed 2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-β-D- glucopyranosyl isothiocyanate as a pre-column chiral derivatization reagent. The derivatized products were separated on a 5-μm reversed-phase C18 column with a mixture of acetonitrile/0.02 mol/L phosphate buffer (pH 4.5) (55:45, v/v) as mobile phase. The detection of esmolol derivatives was made at λ=224 nm with UV detector. The assay was linear from 0.035 to 12 μg/ml for each enantiomer. The analytical method afforded average recoveries of 94.8% and 95.5% for S-(-)- and R-(+)-esmolol, respectively. For each enantiomer, the limit of detection was 0.003 μg/ml and the limit of quantification for the method was 0.035 μg/ml (RSD<14%). The reproducibility of the assay was satisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biochemical and biophysical methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - 31 May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Diastereoselective chromatography
  • Enantiomer separation
  • Esmolol


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