Hypertensive congenital adrenal enzymatic defects detected by high-performance liquid chromatography of corticosteroids

G. Carpenè, A. Vettoretti, F. Pedini, S. Rocco, F. Mantero, G. Opocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The simultaneous measurement of the adrenal deoxycorticosterone (DOC), 18-OH-DOC, corticosterone (B), 18-OH-B, 11 -deoxycortisol (S) and cortisol (F) present in human plasma in cases of adrenal dysfunction was accomplished using a high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) system with a UV detector and with a radioimmunoassay (RIA). After a solid-phase extraction, plasma samples were separated by HPLC using a gradient of water-acetonitrile-ethanol on a radial compressed reversed-phase column. In a 70-min cycle, a complete separation of adrenal steroids was accomplished. The UV detector allowed direct measurement of F in each plasma sample while in selected cases B and S were directly determined. It was therefore possible quickly to identify patients with hypertensive congenital adrenal enzymatic defects with this method: the 17-α-hydroxylase deficiency characterized by the absence of measurable levels of F with an evident peak corresponding to B and the 11-β-hydroxylase deficiency in which high levels of S without F are detected. The RIA of DOC, B, 18-OH-DOC and 18-OH-B complete the characterization of the adrenal defect. Therefore, with this HPLC method it is possible to recognize the major hypertensive adrenal enzymatic deficiencies such as the defect of 17-α-hydroxylase or 11 -β-hydroxylase. With "RIA" detectors an almost complete spectrum of adrenal steroid secretion can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-204
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - Aug 16 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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