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Simple and sensitive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of diazepam and its major metabolites in rat cerebrospinal fluid.

Wang, J.Y., Shen, X.L., Fenyk-Melody, J., Pivnichny, J.V. and Tong, X.C.

Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 17(6), 519-525 (2003).

Diazepam (DZP) is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for treating status epilepticus (SE). A simple, sensitive and selective LC/MS/MS method with a wide linear calibration range was developed to quantify DZP and its major metabolites, N-desmethyldiazepam (DMDZP), temazepam (TZP), and oxazepam (OZP), in rat cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The method was used to simultaneously determine the concentrations of all analytes in a small sample volume (as little as 25 muL) of rat CSF. The lower limits of quantification (LLOQ) of the method are 0.04 ng/mL for DZP and 0.1 ng/mL for its metabolites. The calibration range is 0.04-200 ng/mL for DZP and 0.1-200 ng/ml for the metabolites. All intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation (%CV) and mean percent errors of the method are less than 12%. This method successfully addresses the need to determine low therapeutic drug concentrations in small physiological samples, namely rat CSF. Moreover, it can be used to investigate the distribution of the drug and its metabolites among blood plasma, brain tissue, and CSF in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies in a variety of laboratory animals. With respect to animal experiments involving assays in CSF, this method addresses two of the three criteria of Russell and Bruch (Principles of Humane Experimental Techniques, 1959, Methuen and Co., London) for minimizing animal use, namely refinement and reduction.