Background and Objective: Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza (RSM) has been used clinically for the
prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases; therefore, it is important to strengthen its quality
management. Considering multiple constituents when assessing RSM quality is essential. We established
a simple, rapid method to identify and quantify the major bioactive constituents in RSM using
ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled to a triple quadruple mass spectrometry
Methods: We analyzed 17 markers from 50 batches of wild S. miltiorrhiza samples that were collected
from different locations in China. The ultrasonic extracts of all samples were determined using the
UPLC-QqQ-MS method and were assessed by hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA).
Results: We used this method to analyze 50 sample batches of the 17 compounds and obtained results
with excellent linearity (R2, 0.9915-0.9997), precision (relative standard deviation, RSD, 0.15-1.94%),
repeatability (RSD, 1.28-4.71%), stability (RSD, 0.97-5.60%) and recovery (RSD, 0.305-6.40%). The
hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify the 50 samples based on the characteristics of the 17
Conclusion: We demonstrated that the developed method was simple, reproducible and sensitive, and it
is capable of systematic and scientific evaluation for quality control of RSM. The HCA clearly demonstated
that the RSM samples from different locations were significantly different and the quality of wild
Radix S. miltiorrhiza could generally be judged according to its geographical origin.