Determination of vitamin E and its metabolites in equine urine using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

Gianna Favro, Hadi Habib, Ingrid Gennity, Birgit Puschner, Erin N. Hales, Carrie J Finno, Benjamin C. Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Equine neuroaxonal dystrophy/degenerative myeloencephalopathy (eNAD/EDM) is a hereditary, deteriorating central nervous disease in horses. Currently, the only way to confirm eNAD/EDM is through a postmortem histological evaluation of the central nervous system. Vitamin E, specifically the isoform alpha-tocopherol (α-TP), is known to protect eNAD/EDM susceptible horses from developing the clinical phenotype. While vitamin E is an essential nutrient in the diet of horses, there are no diagnostic tests able to quantitate vitamin E and its metabolites in urine. An ultra-performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric-pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (UPLC-APCI-MS/MS) method was developed and validated following acidic hydrolysis and solid phase extraction to quantitate vitamin E and its metabolites in equine urine. A blank control horse urine matrix was used and spiked with different concentrations of analytes to form a standard curve using either alpha-tocopherol-d6 or chlorpropamide as the internal standard. Inter-day and intra-day statistics were performed to evaluate the method for accuracy (90% to 116%) and precision (0.75% to 14%). Matrix effects, percent recovery, and stability were also assessed. The method successfully analyzed alpha-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman (α-CEHC), alpha-carboxymethylbutyl hydroxychromans (α-CMBHC), gamma-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman γ-CEHC, and α-TP concentrations in urine to determine a baseline levels of analytes in healthy horses, and can be used to determine concentrations of vitamin E metabolites in equine urine allowing for its evaluation as a diagnostic approach in the treatment of eNAD/EDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • CEHC and CMBHC
  • equine
  • liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin E metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Spectroscopy


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