Arterial hypertension is a complex disease with many serious complications, representing a leading cause of mortality. Selective beta-blockers such as metoprolol and bisoprolol are frequently used in the management of hypertension. Numerous analytical methods have been developed for the determination of these substances in biological fluids, such as liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography. Due to the complex composition of biological fluids a biological sample pre-treatment before the use of the method for quantitative determination is required in order to remove proteins and potential interferences. The most commonly used methods for processing biological samples containing metoprolol and bisoprolol were identified through a thorough literature search using PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Willey Journals databases. Articles published between years 2005-2015 were reviewed. Protein precipitation, liquid-liquid extraction and solid phase extraction are the main techniques for the extraction of these drugs from plasma, serum, whole blood and urine samples. In addition, numerous other techniques have been developed for the preparation of biological samples, such as dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction, carrier-mediated liquid phase microextraction, hollow fiber-protected liquid phase microextraction, on-line molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction. The analysis of metoprolol and bisoprolol in human plasma, urine and other biological fluids provides important information in clinical and toxicological trials, thus requiring the application of appropriate extraction techniques for the detection of these antihypertensive substances at nanogram and picogram levels.
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