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Chemistry - Hematology

Measurement of Warfarin in the Oral Fluid of Patients Undergoing Anticoagulant Oral Therapy
Published: Friday, December 02, 2011
Author: Silvia Ghimenti et al.

by Silvia Ghimenti, Tommaso Lomonaco, Massimo Onor, Laura Murgia, Aldo Paolicchi, Roger Fuoco, Lucia Ruocco, Giovanni Pellegrini, Maria Giovanna Trivella, Fabio Di Francesco


Patients on warfarin therapy undergo invasive and expensive checks for the coagulability of their blood. No information on coagulation levels is currently available between two controls.


A method was developed to determine warfarin in oral fluid by HPLC and fluorimetric detection. The chromatographic separation was performed at room temperature on a C-18 reversed-phase column, 65% PBS and 35% methanol mobile phase, flow rate 0.7 mL/min, injection volume 25 µL, excitation wavelength 310 nm, emission wavelength 400 nm.


The method was free from interference and matrix effect, linear in the range 0.2–100 ng/mL, with a detection limit of 0.2 ng/mL. Its coefficient of variation was <3% for intra-day measurements and <5% for inter-day measurements. The average concentration of warfarin in the oral fluid of 50 patients was 2.5±1.6 ng/mL (range 0.8–7.6 ng/mL). Dosage was not correlated to INR (r?=?-0.03, p?=?0.85) but positively correlated to warfarin concentration in the oral fluid (r?=?0.39, p?=?0.006). The correlation between warfarin concentration and pH in the oral fluid (r?=?0.37, p?=?0.009) confirmed the importance of pH in regulating the drug transfer from blood. A correlation between warfarin concentration in the oral fluid and INR was only found in samples with pH values =7.2 (r?=?0.84, p?=?0.004).


Warfarin diffuses from blood to oral fluid. The method allows to measure its concentration in this matrix and to analyze correlations with INR and other parameters.