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2019 (v.27 no.1)

Translational and Clinical Pharmacology

Korean Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN: 2289-0882

  • Quantification of apixaban in human plasma using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry

    Hyeon-Cheol Jeong, Tae-Eun Kim, Kwang-Hee Shin

    TCP | v.27, no.1, pp.33-41, Mar, 2019


    Apixaban, an inhibitor of direct factor Xa, is used for the treatment of venous thromboembolic events or prevention of stroke. Unlike many other anticoagulant agents, it does not need periodic monitoring. However, monitoring is still required to determine the risk of bleeding due to overdose or surgery. Usually, apixaban concentrations are indirectly quantified using an anti-factor Xa assay. However, this method has a relatively narrow analytical concentration range, poor selectivity, and requires an external calibrator. Therefore, the goal of current study was to establish an analytical method for determining plasma levels of apixaban using ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). To this end, apixaban was separated using 2.5 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0) (A) and 100% methanol containing 0.1% formic acid (B) using the gradient method with a Thermo hypersil GOLD column. The mass detector condition was optimized using the electrospray ionization (ESI) positive mode for apixaban quantification. The developed method showed sufficient linearity (coefficient of determination [r2 ≥ 0.997]) at calibration curve ranges. The percentage (%) changes in accuracy, precision, and all stability tests were within 15% of the nominal concentration. Apixaban concentration in plasma from healthy volunteers was quantified using the developed method. The mean maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) was 371.57 ng/mL, and the median time to achieve the Cmax (Tmax) was 4 h after administration of 10 mg apixaban alone. Although the results showed low extraction efficiency (~16%), the reproducibility (% change was within 15% of nominal concentration) was reliable. Therefore, the developed method could be used for clinical pharmacokinetic studies.


    Anticoagulant, Apixaban, Bioanalytical method, UPLC-MS/MS