Development and Validation of an Assay for Quantifying Budesonide in Dried Blood Spots Collected from Extremely Low Gestational Age Neonates

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Budesonide is a potential therapeutic option for the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in mechanically ventilated premature neonates. The dose and concentrations of budesonide that drive effective prophylaxis are unknown, due in part to the difficulty in obtaining serial blood samples from this fragile population. Of primary concern is the limited total blood volume available for collection for the purposes of a pharmacokinetic study. Dried blood spots (DBS), which require the collection of <200 μL whole blood to fill an entire card, are an attractive low-blood volume alternative to traditional venipuncture sampling. We describe a simple and sensitive method for determining budesonide concentrations in DBS using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry assay. Budesonide was liberated from a single 6 mm punch using a basified methyl tert-butyl ether extraction procedure. The assay was determined to be accurate and precise in the dynamic range of 1 to 50 ng/mL. The validated assay was then successfully applied to DBS collected as part of a multi-center, dose-escalation study of budesonide administered in surfactant via intra-tracheal instillation to premature neonates between 23 and 28 weeks gestational age. These findings show that DBS are a useful technique for collecting pharmacokinetic samples in premature neonates and other pediatric populations.



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