Analysis of fluticasone propionate in induced sputum by mass spectrometry

John B. Hagan, Robert L. Taylor, Hirohito Kita, Ravinder J. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Although evaluation of induced sputum has shown promise as a marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthmatic subjects, most studies, to date, do not adequately address the potential effect that inhaled corticosteroids may have on sputum eosinophilia. This study was designed to prospectively evaluate analysis of fluticasone propionate (FP) in whole sputum by mass spectrometry as a tool to determine recent administration of inhaled FP. Induced sputum of nonsmoking asthmatic subjects was prospectively analyzed 16-24 hours after witnessed administration of orally inhaled FP. FP was extracted from whole sputum via an acetonitrile protein precipitation followed by methylene chloride liquid extraction of the supernatant (AB 4000; AB Sciex). A portion of the reconstituted sample was analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry using a triple quad tandem mass spectrometer. Results were compared with those from nonsmoking asthmatic subjects not receiving inhaled FP. Twenty-two asthmatic subjects on FP and 9 asthmatic subjects without FP underwent sputum induction 16-24 hours following witnessed administration of FP. Sufficient sputum for analysis was obtained from 30 of 31 subjects. FP was detected in 22 of 22 asthmatic subjects receiving FP (range, 29-133,000 pg/mL) and was undetectable in 8 of 8 subjects not receiving FP. The sensitivity and specificity of tandem mass spectrometry's ability to detect FP in sputum was 100% and 100%, respectively. Analysis of FP in induced sputum is a reliable method to verify recent administration of inhaled FP. Induced asthmatic sputum from one induction may be used to concomitantly assess sputum eosinophilia as well as recent administration of FP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e18-e21
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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