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Milrinone is a bipyridine phosphodiesterase inhibitor with positive inotropic and vasodilatory effects. As interest in longer term use of intravenous therapy increases, it becomes essential to monitor its plasma concentration owing to a narrow therapeutic range, an increased half-life in renal failure and toxicity associated with high levels. A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with mass (MS) detection using a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer is presented. The method was compared with the UV/HPLC method and validated according to current international guidelines. Coefficients of variation of less than 7.5% were obtained across the therapeutic range and 18.3% at 2.4 ng/mL, the lower limit of quantitation. Plasma from 13 cardiac surgery patients receiving standard intravenous doses of milrinone were measured. Eight patients achieved therapeutic milrinone levels within 3-4 h post start of infusion, one was borderline sub-therapeutic and four patients achieved levels that were above the upper limit of the therapeutic range and potentially toxic. This method offers high sensitivity, is rapid, easy to use and requires minimal amount of sample. We believe this method could become the reference procedure for clinical monitoring of milrinone and help to improve the safety of the use of this drug in patients with cardiac failure. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


B Chihoho, A B Sage, R T Smolenski, A Vazir, M L Rose, N R Banner, N V Leaver. A clinical assay for the measurement of milrinone in plasma by HPLC mass spectrometry. Biomedical chromatography : BMC. 2012 May;26(5):566-70

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PMID: 21905056

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