Simultaneous quantification of vitamin E and vitamin E metabolites in equine plasma and serum using LC-MS/MS

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Vitamin E deficiencies can impact normal growth and development in humans and animals, and assessment of circulating levels of vitamin E and its metabolites may be an important endpoint for evaluation. Development of a sensitive method to detect and quantify low concentrations of vitamin E and metabolites in biological specimens allows for a proper diagnosis for patients and animals that are deficient. We developed a method to simultaneously extract, detect, and quantify the vitamin E compounds alpha-tocopherol (α-TP), gamma-tocopherol (γ-TP), alpha-tocotrienol (α-TT), and gamma-tocotrienol (γ-TT), and the corresponding metabolites formed after β-oxidation of α-TP and γ-TP, alpha-carboxymethylbutyl hydroxychroman (α-CMBHC) and alpha- or gamma-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman (α- or γ-CEHC), respectively, from equine plasma and serum. Quantification was achieved through liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. We applied a 96-well high-throughput format using a Phenomenex Phree plate to analyze plasma and serum. Compounds were separated by using a Waters ACQUITY UPLC BEH C18 column with a reverse-phase gradient. The limits of detection for the metabolites and vitamin E compounds were 8–330 pg/mL. To validate the method, intra-day and inter-day accuracy and precision were evaluated along with limits of detection and quantification. The method was then applied to determine concentrations of these analytes in plasma and serum of horses. Alpha-TP levels were 3–6 µg/mL of matrix; the metabolites were found at much lower levels, 0.2–1.0 ng/mL of matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • alpha-carboxymethylbutyl hydroxychroman
  • gamma-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman
  • liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry
  • vitamin E
  • α/γ-tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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