Liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometric studies of ginkgolides and bilobalide using simultaneous monitoring of proton, ammonium and sodium adducts
A liquid chromatographic-electrospray mass spectrometric method was developed for the determination of ginkgolides and bilobalide and was applied to the analysis of commercial products of Ginkgo biloba leaf extracts. Adducts of these compounds with ammonium, proton and sodium were detected and their relative abundance depended on the electrospray fragmentor voltage. The relative standard deviation (RSD) was improved from >17% to <6%, when three adduct ions of (M + H)+, (M + NH4)+ and (M + Na)+ were used for quantification compared with single ion monitoring. The characteristic mass spectra of bilobalide were different from those of ginkgolides; in particular, dimers of (2M + Na)+ were observed for bilobalide only. Analysis of 26 commercial ginkgo products revealed large variations in the composition and concentrations of ginkgolides and bilobalide in herbal products.