A rapid, sensitive and reliable high performance liquid chromatographic method coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) has been developed and validated for the determination of cilnidipine, a relatively new calcium antagonist, in human plasma. The reversed-phase chromatographic system was interfaced with a TurboIonSpray (TIS) source. Nimodipine was employed as the internal standard (IS). Sample extracts following protein precipitation were injected into the HPLC-MS/MS system. The analyte and IS were eluted isocratically on a C18 column, with a mobile phase consisting of CH3OH and NH4Ac (96:4, v/v). The ions were detected by a triple quadrupole mass spectrometric detector in the negative mode. Quantification was performed using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) of the transitions m/z 491.2 → 122.1 and m/z 417.1 → 122.1 for cilnidipine and for the IS, respectively. The analysis time for each run was 3.0 min. The calibration curve fitted well over the concentration range of 0.1-10 ng mL-1, with the regression equation Y = (0.103 ± 0.002)X + (0.014 ± 0.003) (n = 5), r = 0.9994. The intra-day and inter-day R.S.D.% were less than 12.51% at all concentration levels within the calibration range. The recoveries were between 92.71% and 97.64%. The long-term stability and freeze-thaw stability were satisfying at each level. The present method provides a modern, rapid and robust tool for pharmacokinetic studies of cilnidipine. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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