Vitamin D deficiency in an infant is associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes in later life. A method for the quantification of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3, the best-established indicator of vitamin D status] in neonatal dried blood spots (DBSs) using LC/ESI-MS/MS has been developed and validated. The method employed two steps of derivatization, a Diels–Alder reaction with 4-phenyl-1,2,4-triazoline-3,5-dione followed by acetylation, to enhance the detectability of 25(OH)D3 in ESI-MS/MS and to separate 25(OH)D3 from 3-epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [3-epi-25(OH)D3], a potent interfering metabolite. 25(OH)D3 was extracted from two DBS punches (3 mm in diameter, equivalent to 5.3 μL of whole blood), purified using an Oasis HLB® cartridge, and subjected to derivatization prior to analysis with LC/ESI-MS/MS. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D4 was used as the internal standard. This method was reproducible (intra- and inter-assay RSDs, <6.9%) and accurate (analytical recovery, 95.2–102.7%), and the LOQ was 3.0 ng/mL. The developed method enabled specific quantification of 25(OH)D3 in neonatal DBSs and detection of vitamin D deficiency without interference from 3-epi-25(OH)D3.
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