Sodium valproate is the most commonly used antiepileptic drug that patients need to keep taking over a long period of time or on a permanent basis. Its blood concentration should be accurately detected to avoid toxicity or side-effects, especially for children and the aged. Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling from finger prick is a minimally invasive and patient-friendly procedure for blood collection. However, there are few studies about rapid detection of sodium valproate in DBS samples in current literatures. In this work, we developed an ink auxiliary headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS) strategy for direct detection of sodium valproate in DBS from epilepsy patients, which does not need extra solvent extraction or elution. It was discovered that carbon black ink could provide better capacity of heat absorption and dissociation, and higher quality of headspace sampling. The detection sensitivity has been improved with reported headspace GC–MS methods, and the limit of quantitation could reach to 200 ng/mL. Finally, this strategy was practically applied to quantify sodium valproate in DBS samples from 29 epilepsy patients. The result showed higher accuracy with lower relative errors by comparing with the clinical immunoassay results. In conclusion, we developed a direct detection method for DBS samples that is suitable for high-throughput clinical test with great potential for clinical application.
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