Quantitative profiling of cortisol metabolites in human urine by high-resolution accurate-mass MS

Yi Wang, Naomi Fujioka, Chengguo Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aim, materials & methods: Urinary cortisol profile has the potential as a diagnostic biomarker. We therefore developed a stable-isotope dilution ultraperformance chromatography multistage MS-based method to quantify cortisol and 16 metabolites in human urines. Results & conclusion: The LOD for cortisol and its metabolites ranges from 0.02 to 5.81 pg/μl urine. The inter- and intraday variations were 3.7-12.9% and 3.5-15.6%, respectively. Among the metabolites analyzed, significant person-to-person heterogeneity was observed, demonstrating the need for comprehensive metabolite profiling in diagnosis. Nevertheless, the glucuronides of dihydrocortisol, dihydrocortisone, tetrahydrocortisol, allo-tetrahydrocortisol and tetrahydrocortisone are the major ones. The sum of the glucuronidated and free forms constitute >93% of the metabolites analyzed, which is termed as total cortisol equivalent. Total cortisol equivalent may serve as a surrogate of cortisol secretion. Clinical trial registration number: NCT02500472</bold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2015-2026
Number of pages12
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was funded by the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center pilot grant, University of Florida Medicinal Chemistry Department, College of Pharmacy Frank Duckworth Endowment, University of Florida Health Cancer Center Startup fund and NIH R01CA193286. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Newlands Press.


  • cortisol metabolism
  • high-resolution accurate-mass MS
  • stress
  • tobacco
  • urine biomarker


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