, Volume 67, Issue 7–8, pp 591–597 | Cite as

Development and Validation of a LC–ESI–MS Assay for Determination of Icariin in Rat Plasma after Administration of Herba Epimedii

  • Ying Tu
  • Lin Zhu
  • Guangji Wang
  • Luhua Zhao
  • Bingren Xiang


This paper reports a sensitive, specific, and stable chromatographic procedure with selective detection (electrospray mass spectrometry in selected-ion-monitoring mode) combined with simple and efficient sample preparation for determination of icariin in rat plasma after administration of Herba Epimedii. Separation of the analyte, possible endogenous compounds, and constituents of Herba Epimedii were accomplished on a 250 mm × 2.0 mm i.d. C18 column by use of a rapid gradient. Ionization of icariin and clarithromycin (internal standard) was achieved by use of the electrospray interface in positive-ion mode. Conditions such as ionization mode, type of organic modifier, eluent additives, and Q-array potential were optimized to achieve good sensitivity and specificity of icariin detection. Response was a linear function of concentration over the range 0.2–20 ng mL−1. The method is accurate and precise; within-batch and between-batch precision (CV) are <15%, and accuracy (RE) is better than ±15%. The method can be used for analysis of icariin in plasma after administration of Herba Epimedii or of traditional Chinese medicinal preparations containing Herba Epimedii.


Column liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry Icariin Herba Epimedii Quantitation Plasma 



This research was supported by the Hi-Tech Research and Development Program of China, Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No: 2002AA2Z3214).


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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Tu
    • 1
  • Lin Zhu
    • 1
  • Guangji Wang
    • 1
  • Luhua Zhao
    • 1
  • Bingren Xiang
    • 1
  1. 1.China Pharmaceutical University NanjingChina

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