Validation of a simple HPLC method to quantify methotrexate concentrations in human plasma

Original Research


Methotrexate (MTX) is a chemotherapy and immunosuppressive agent widely used to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases in children and adult patients, and ectopic pregnancy. However, MTX is highly toxic to the liver, kidney, and nervous system. This study aimed to quantify the concentration of MTX in human plasma using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). MTX and its internal standard (para aminoacetophenone-PAPA) in plasma samples were extracted simultaneously with methanol. Sample purity was performed using the 1 cc OASIS HLB cartridges. Sample injection volume of 10 µL was analyzed on a Lichrocart Supersil 125-4 column C18 maintained at 40 °C on a Waters 2695 XE equipped with a PDA detector set at 303 nm. The mobile phase contained phosphate buffer (pH 6.0) and methanol at a ratio of 80:20 (v/v) and was maintained at a flow rate of 1 ml/min. The results showed that the total time of chromatographic analysis was 15 min. MTX and PAAP were found in the chromatograms at retention times of 2.3 and 5.2 min, respectively. The linear range of the MTX from 0.5 to 25 µg/mL. Intra-day and inter-day imprecision for MTX ranged from 3.42 to 8.128%. LLOQ of MTX was 0.5 µg/mL and the extraction effects were above 77%. In conclusion, we developed and validated a simple HPLC method to determine the MTX concentrations in human plasma.

Graphical abstract