Quantitative analysis of postmortem changes in myocardial norepinephrine using HPLC with electrochemical detection

Gordon L. Pierpont, Stephanie Reynolds, Eugene G. DeMaster, Jay N. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Myocardial adrenergic function may be important in the pathophysiology of many cardiac abnormalities, and quantitative analysis of catecholamines in cardiac tissue can provide insight in the role of adrenergic neurons in specific disorders. Our purpose was to determine the stability of myocardial catecholamines postmortem to assess the validity of using postmortem samples to represent premorbid conditions and to provide information applicable to proper handling of biopsy specimens. Serial myocardial samples were obtained postmortem in rats and dogs for which norepinephrine and dopamine levels were analyzed using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. No significant differences in catecholamine content were found between samples taken immediately after death and those taken 15 minutes later. Thereafter, a progressive decline in catecholamines was observed. We conclude that biopsy or postmortem samples frozen within 15 minutes of death will accurately reflect premortem catecholamine values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-684
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine
Volume104
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1984

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