Medical Definition of Tandem mass spectrometry

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Tandem mass spectrometry: A procedure used in medical laboratories consisting of two mass spectrometers in series connected by a chamber known as a collision cell. The sample to be examined is essentially sorted and weighed in the first mass spectrometer, then broken into pieces in the collision cell, and a piece or pieces sorted and weighed in the second mass spectrometer. Tandem mass spectrometry is used in newborn screening to detect molecules such as amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and fatty acids. Tandem mass spectrometry may be abbreviated as Tandem MS or MS/MS. See also: Mass spectrometry. See: Mass spectrometry.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018