Minimum handling method for the analysis of phosphorous inhibitors of urolithiasis (pyrophosphate and phytic acid) in urine by SPE-ICP techniques

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Pyrophosphate (PPi) and phytic acid (IP6) are natural phosphorous compounds with growing interest in the biomedical field due to their ability as potential inhibitors of urolithiasis among others. Existing methodologies for their evaluation show inconveniences mainly associated with sample treatment, matrix interferences and lack of resolution. The objective of the present work is the validation of a new method to determine both inhibitors in urine samples selectively and its application to the diagnosis of lithiasic patients. After urine purification by an off-line anion exchange solid phase extraction (SPE), based in an appropriate acidic elution gradient, the phosphorous compounds were analyzed by 31P measurements by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in the purified urine extracts. Linear range and limit of detection obtained were adequate for the analysis of the physiological amounts of the compounds in urine. The method was successfully applied to human urine samples, resulting in adequate accuracy and precision and allowing for the analysis of phosphorus inhibitors of urolithiasis in urine. The method simplicity and high sample throughput leads to a clear alternative to current determinations of the mentioned species in urine. Moreover, PPi and IP6 concentrations found in patients suffering from oxalocalcic urolithiasic were significantly lower than those for healthy controls, supporting the fact that the risk for oxalocalcic urolithiasis increases when urinary phosphorus inhibitors decrease. Thus, speciation of phosphorus inhibitors of urolithiasis in urine of stone formers can be performed, which is of unquestionable value in diagnostic, treatment and monitoring of urolithiasis. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-208
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2010


  • Determination
  • ICP-MS
  • Phytic acid
  • Pyrophosphate
  • Speciation
  • Urine


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