A quantitative Ultra Performance™ liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UPL/MS/MS) protocol was developed for a five-compound mixture in rat plasma. A similar high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS) quantification protocol was developed for comparison purposes. Among the five test compounds, three preferred positive electrospray ionization (ESI) and two preferred negative ESI. As a result, both UPLC/MS/MS and HPLC/MS/MS analyses were performed by having the mass spectrometer collecting ESI multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) data in both positive and negative ion modes during a single injection. Peak widths for most standards were 4.8 s for the HPLC analysis and 2.4 s for the UPLC analysis. There were 17 to 20 data points obtained for each of the LC peaks. Compared with the HPLC/MS/MS method, the UPLC/MS/MS method offered 3-fold decrease in retention time, up to 10-fold increase in detected peak height, with 2-fold decrease in peak width. Limits of quantification (LOQs) for both HPLC and UPLC methods were evaluated. For UPLC/MS/MS analysis, a linear range up to four orders of magnitude was obtained with r2 values ranging from 0.991 to 0.998. The LOQs for the five analytes ranged from 0.08 to 9.85 ng/mL. Three levels of quality control (QC) samples were analyzed. For the UPLC/MS/MS protocol, the percent relative standard deviation (RSD%) for low QC (2 ng/mL) ranged from 3.42 to 8.67% (N = 18). The carryover of the UPLC/MS/MS protocol was negligible and the robustness of the UPLC/MS/MS system was evaluated with up to 963 QC injections. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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