Synthetic calibrators for the analysis of sulfoconjugated metanephrines in urine: hydrolysis conditions revisited
Background: The quantification of total (free + sulfated) metanephrines in urine is recommended to diagnose pheochromocytoma. Urinary metanephrines include metanephrine itself, normetanephrine and methoxytyramine, mainly in the form of sulfate conjugates (60-80%). Their determination requires the hydrolysis of the sulfate ester moiety to allow electrochemical oxidation of the phenolic group. Commercially available urine calibrators and controls contain essentially free, unhydrolysable metanephrines which are not representative of native urines. The lack of appropriate calibrators may lead to uncertainty regarding the completion of the hydrolysis of sulfated metanephrines, resulting in incorrect quantification.