Speciation analysis of arsenic in urine samples from APL patients treated with single agent As2O3 by HPLC-HG-AFS.


Department of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China; Heilongjiang Institute of Hematology & Oncology, Harbin, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Arsenic trioxide [As2O3, arsenite (AsIII) in solution] has been applied successfully for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The arsenic speciation analysis of urine is critical to reveal the metabolic mechanism and the relationship between arsenic species and the clinical response. To characterize the arsenic species in urine, a simple and robust HPLC-HG-AFS method was developed and validated to quantify the levels of arsenic species [AsIII and its metabolites, monomethylarsonic acid (MMAV), dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV), and arsenate (AsV)] in urine samples from 66 patients with APL. Patients received As2O3 (0.16 mg/kg/day) via continuous slow-rate infusion or conventional infusion. Urine samples were collected at steady state before the start of the next daily administration. The relative proportions (median) of arsenic species in urine were: AsIII, 33.00% (IQR: 24.34%-46.82%); DMAV, 36.42% (IQR: 25.82%-51.98%); MMAV, 23.89% (IQR: 19.52%-27.19%); and AsV, 2.22% (IQR: 1.293%-3.665%). The levels and proportions of arsenic species vary widely among individual patients. DMAV and un-metabolized AsIII were the dominant arsenic compounds excreted from the urine of patients with APL treated with As2O3. AsV was the least abundant arsenic species in all urine samples. Good positive correlations were found between the levels and proportions of arsenic species in urine and those in plasma; thus, urinary arsenic can reflect the levels of arsenic in plasma. Urinary arsenic is a critical biomarker to evaluate the metabolism and toxicity of arsenic in the clinical application of As2O3.


Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL),Arsenic speciation,High performance liquid chromatography-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HPLC-HG-AFS),Urine,

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