Assessment of Chinese medicinal herb metabolite profiles by UPLC-MS-based methodology for the detection of aristolochic acids

Shana Sunny Jacob, Norman William Smith, Cristina Legido-Quigley

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28 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, aristolochic acid in different herbal medicines containing a mixture of varying herb species was identified through fingerprint pattern similarities. Aristolochic acid I and II are nephrotoxic compounds naturally present in the Aristolochia plant species that are commonly used in Chinese herbal medicines. Twenty-four commercially available herbal formulations were extracted into an aqueous solution and injected into a UPLC-MS system. All the samples were analysed by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) to check for the presence of aristolochic acids I and II. The same samples were then fingerprinted using two different gradient methods and the chromatograms deconvoluted into retention time (RT) and masses for the chemicals present taking concentration into account. Statistical analysis of this data revealed that samples were highly heterogeneous, and that the main differences between the preparations were concentrations of polar compounds. A model was constructed where the samples could be separated into two groups differentiated by the presence of the two forms of aristolochic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1206
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Separation Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Chemometrics
  • Fingerprinting
  • Herbal medicines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Filtration and Separation

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