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Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry: An Attractive and Prospective Method for Quantitative Bioanalysis in Drug Metabolism

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 4 ]


Zheng Li, Jie Han, Shi-an Sun, Kai Chen and Dao-quan Tang   Pages 386 - 400 ( 15 )


Background: During the development, dosage optimization and safety evaluation of a drug, rapid and precise monitoring of an administered drug and/or its metabolites in biological samples. As drug biotransformation produces more hydrophilic metabolites for the enhancement of drug elimination, it often presents a challenge for traditional reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) separation. Because hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) is capable of retaining polar compounds and is readily compatible with mass spectrometry (MS), HILIC has been used as a complementary separation technique to RPLC for the analysis of polar metabolites, especially polar drugs and their metabolites.

Methods: We undertook a comprehensive search of databases for HILIC-related research literature. The characteristics including method, result and innovation of screened papers were described, and an inductive and analytical method was applied to analyze those studies using a reasonable framework.

Results: This paper covers core aspects of the HILIC-MS/MS method and the overall profile of its application in drug and/or its metabolites analysis by reviewing 102 papers. The emphasis of this paper has been placed on the applications of the HILIC-MS/MS method in quantitative bioanalysis of drugs alone or along with their metabolites in drug metabolism studies in recent years. As a fundamental and critical step of the bioanalytical method, conventional sample preparation techniques of biological matrices for the HILIC-MS/MS analysis of drugs and/or their metabolites are also briefly featured.

Conclusion: The findings of this review confirm the powder of HILIC-MS/MS methods in the separation and quantification of drugs and/or their metabolites.


drug metabolism, HILIC-MS/MS, metabolites, pharmacokinetic study, quantitative bioanalysis, sample preparation.


Jiangsu Key Laboratory of New Drug Research and Clinical Pharmacy, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou 221004, China

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