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Habler, Katharina; Paal, Michael; Vogeser, Michael (2020): Isotope dilution-LC-MS/MS method for quantification of the urinary cotinine-to-creatinine ratio. In: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Vol. 58, No. 9: pp. 1469-1476
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Background: Appropriate monitoring of tobacco smoking is extremely important in several areas of medicine, e.g. management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), epidemiological surveys, and allocation of heart or lung transplants. The major metabolite of nicotine is cotinine that is increasingly used as a laboratory parameter for assessing tobacco smoke exposure. Methods: Creatinine and cotinine were analyzed simultaneously in urine by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) in one run within 3 min using a biphenyl column. For quantification, the respective stable-isotope-labeled standards were used. Results: Detuning and measuring a natural isotope of creatinine as precursor and product ion allowed a simultaneous quantification of creatinine and cotinine. The method revealed robust validation results. For both analytes, inaccuracy and imprecision of the quality control and external quality assessment (EQA) samples were <=-11.1%. Conclusions: One essential novelty of the method presented here is the simultaneous quantification of creatinine and cotinine covered by one analytical method. Despite the very different natural concentrations of creatinine and cotinine, this allows the immediate reporting of the cotinine-to-creatinine ratio without the need for a separate creatinine analysis.