Characterization of the elemental composition of newborn blood spots using sector-field inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

Erica K. Langer, Kimberly J. Johnson, Martin M. Shafer, Patrick Gorski, Joel Overdier, Jessica Musselman, Julie A. Ross

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27 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed extraction and analysis protocols for element detection in neonatal blood spots (NBSs) using sector-field inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS). A 5% (v/v) nitric acid element extraction protocol was optimized and used to simultaneously measure 28 elements in NBS card filter paper and 150 NBSs. NBS element concentrations were corrected for filter paper background contributions estimated from measurements in samples obtained from either unspotted or spotted NBS cards. A lower 95% uncertainty limit (UL) that accounted for ICP-MS method, filter paper element concentration, and element recovery uncertainties was calculated by standard methods for each individual's NBS element concentration. Filter paper median element levels were highly variable within and between lots for most elements. After accounting for measurement uncertainties, 11 elements (Ca, Cs, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, Rb, S, and Zn) had lower 95% ULs0 ng/spot with estimated concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 50,000 ng/spot in 50% of NBS samples in both correction methods. In a NBS sample minority, Li, Cd, Cs, Cr, Ni, Mo, and Pb had estimated concentrations 20-fold higher than the respective median level. Taking measurement uncertainties into account, this assay could be used for semiquantitative newborn blood element measurement and for the detection of individuals exposed to supraphysiologic levels of some trace elements. Adequate control of filter paper element contributions remains the primary obstacle to fully quantitative element measurement in newborn blood using NBSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grant T32 CA099936 and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

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