Objective: To perform a critical review of analytical methods for urinary c
atecholamines based on method performance parameters, such as analytical ra
nge, limit of detection (LOD), robustness, and the applicability for assess
ment of stress effects in urine from healthy subjects.
Method: Five criteria were chosen for rating the analytical methods. The sc
ore value should give an indication of the usefulness of the method for mea
surement of catecholamines in urine from healthy subjects. The maximum scor
e for a paper is '5', and one point is given for each of the following.
Analytical range must start at 7 nmol/l or below.
LOD (or limit of quantification (LOQ)) < 7 nmol/l for both adrenaline (A) a
nd noradrenaline (NA).
Some precision parameters have been described (i.e. repeatability and/or re
Urine samples were analysed.
The method is fully automated method (i.e. clean-up procedure included in s
Results: A total of 7, out of 28 papers rated score the maximum of '5', and
5 papers score '4'; these are all high performance liquid chromatographic
(HPLC) methods. The scores of the remaining 16 papers are distributed as fo
llows: 10 papers score '3', 4 papers score '2' and 2 papers score '1'.
Conclusion: The literature review has shown that automated HPLC systems sti
ll are the most applicable and well-documented methods for the analysis of
A and NA in urine. Some quality parameters were summarised, and it was show
n that many of the papers lack valuable information. It is recommended that
future papers validate the method described and report the necessary quali
ty parameters such as LOD, analytical range, precision, etc. (C) 2001 Elsev
ier Science B.V. All rights reserved.