For the enantiomer discriminated determination of lactate (LA) and 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) in various complicated samples, a three-dimensional HPLC (3D-HPLC) system has been designed and developed by investigating the separation of the target analytes from unknown substances observed in the real target matrices. LA and 3HB were pre-column derivatized with 4-nitro-7-piperazino-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole for the sensitive fluorescence detection and introduced into the 3D-HPLC system composed of reversed-phase, mixed-mode and enantioselective separations. The present method was validated by calibration curves, precision and accuracy using standard solutions and human samples, and sufficient values were obtained. Using the method, the levels of D-LA, L-LA, D-3Hb and L-3HB were determined, and their concentrations were 9.9, 1004.2, 79.7 and 2.1 μM in the human plasma and 16.0, 86.6, 8.7 and 4.8 μM in the human urine, respectively. The present 3D-HPLC system could selectively determine trace amounts of the target hydroxy acid enantiomers without disturbance of the intrinsic interfering substances in complicated matrices and the applications to various disease samples are expected.
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