A simple and rapid ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photo-diode array (UPLC-PDA) method was developed for determination of seven anthraquinones in aqueous extract of rhubarb (AER) and for detection of anthraquinones in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) after AER administration. Optimum separation was achieved on a reversed-phase column with methanol and 0.5% aqueous acetic acid as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.5 ml/min. Experimental results showed intra- and inter- day accuracy, precision, linear range and limits of detection were satisfactory for simultaneous determination of seven anthraquinones in AER. Good linear regression data (r2 > 0.9982) were obtained for all the calibration plots within the range tested. The method was successfully used for quantitative analysis of the seven compounds in AER, and with the aid of UPLC-PDA, physcion was detected to be absorbed into CSF of TBI patient following oral administration of AER.
Key words: Quality control, ultra performance liquid chromatography, traumatic brain injury, anthraquinones, aqueous extract of rhubarb (AER), physcion.
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