Gaucher disease is a glycolipid storage disorder characterized by the accumulation of glucosylceramide. Using delayed extraction matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (DE-MALDI-TOF-MS), we analyzed sphingolipids in pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, and serum from two patients with Gaucher disease. Crude lipids were extracted from 1 ml each of pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, and serum with chloroform and methanol. After mild alkaline treatment of the crude lipids, a sphingolipid fraction was prepared and analyzed by DE-MALDI-TOF-MS. The results were as follows: (a) in all the specimens, peaks of ceramide monohexoside and sphingomyelin were detected in both the controls and Gaucher disease patients; (b) in pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, and serum, the ceramide monohexoside/sphingomyelin ratio was increased in the Gaucher disease patients compared with in the controls. It was indicated that the accumulation of ceramide monohexoside in such samples from Gaucher disease patients can be easily detected with this DE-MALDI-TOF-MS method. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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