Cation-exchange chromatography is a widely used approach to study charge heterogeneity of monoclonal antibodies. Heterogeneity may arise both in vitro and in vivo because of the susceptibility of monoclonal antibodies to undergo chemical modifications. Modifications may adversely affect the potency of the drug, induce immunogenicity or affect pharmacokinetics. In this study, we evaluated the application of optimized pH gradient systems for the separation of charge variants of trastuzumab after forced degradation study. pH gradient-based elution resulted in high-resolution separation of some 20 charge variants after 3 weeks at 37°C under physiological conditions. The charge variants were further characterized by LC-MS-based peptide mapping. There was no significant difference in the binding properties to HER2 or a range of Fcγ receptors between non-stressed and stressed trastuzumab.