Simple determination of betaine, l ‐carnitine and choline in human urine using self‐packed column and column‐switching ion chromatography with nonsuppressed conductivity detection

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Oct 2, 2017
  • Author: Dan Wei, Yan Zhu, Ming Guo


A sequential online extraction, clean‐up and separation system for the determination of betaine, l‐carnitine and choline in human urine using column‐switching ion chromatography with nonsuppressed conductivity detection was developed in this work. A self‐packed pretreatment column (50 × 4.6 mm, i.d.) was used for the extraction and clean‐up of betaine, l‐carnitine and choline. The separation was achieved using self‐packed cationic exchange column (150 × 4.6 mm, i.d.), followed by nonsuppressed conductivity detection. Under optimized experimental conditions, the developed method presented good analytical performance, with excellent linearity in the range of 0.60–100 μg mL−1 for betaine, 0.75–100 μg mL−1 for l‐carnitine and 0.50–100 μg mL−1 for choline, with all correlation coefficients (R2) >0.99 in urine. The limits of detection were 0.15 μg mL−1 for betaine, 0.20 μg mL−1 for l‐carnitine and 0.09 μg mL−1 for choline. The intra‐ and inter‐day accuracy and precision for all quality controls were within ±10.32 and ±9.05%, respectively. Satisfactory recovery was observed between 92.8 and 102.0%. The validated method was successfully applied to the detection of urinary samples from 10 healthy people. The values detected in human urine using the proposed method showed good agreement with the measurement reported previously.

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