Determination of 5-hydroxy-N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and 2-hydroxy-N-methylsuccinimide in human plasma and urine using liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry

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A method for simultaneous determination of 5-hydroxy-N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (5-HNMP) and 2-hydroxy-N-methylsuccinimide (2-HMSI) was developed. These compounds are metabolites from N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), a powerful and widely used organic solvent. 5-HNMP and 2-HMSI were purified from plasma and urine by solid-phase extraction using Isolute ENV+ columns, and analysed by liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer fitted with an atmospheric pressure turbo ion spray ionisation interface in the positive ion mode. The method was validated for plasma and urine concentrations from 0.12 to 25 microg/ml. The recoveries for 5-HNMP and 2-HMSI in plasma were 99 and 98%, respectively, and in urine 111 and 106%, respectively. For 5-HNMP and 2-HMSI, the within-day precision in plasma was 1-4 and 3-6%, respectively, and in urine 2-12 and 3-10%, respectively. The corresponding data for the between-day precision was 5 and 3-6%, respectively, and 4-6 and 7-8%, respectively. The detection limit for 5-HNMP was 4 ng/ml in plasma and 120 ng/ml in urine. For 2-HMSI, it was 5 ng/ml in plasma and 85 ng/ml in urine. The method is applicable for analysis of plasma and urine samples from workers exposed to NMP.


  • Martin Carnerup
  • Bengt Åkesson
  • Bo A Jönsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • 5-Hydroxy-N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, 2-Hydroxy-N-methylsuccinimide
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalJournal of Chromatography. B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch