Detection of cocaine exposure in the neonate: Analyses of urine, meconium, and amniotic fluid from mothers and infants exposed to cocaine

O. Q. Casanova, N. Lombardero, M. Behnke, F. D. Eyler, M. Conlon, R. L. Bertholf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cocaine and its metabolites were measured in urine, meconium, and amniotic fluid specimens collected from 30 maternal-infant pairs with histories of prenatal cocaine use. Cocaine, benzoylecgonine, and ecgonine methyl ester were measured by isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Mothers were interviewed at delivery regarding their cocaine use during pregnancy. There was qualitative agreement between the results of drug determinations in maternal urine, amniotic fluid, infant urine, and meconium. Although all of the mothers in this study admitted to using cocaine during their pregnancy, cocaine or its metabolites were detected only in the 20 cases in which cocaine was used within 3 weeks before delivery. We conclude that when sufficiently sensitive analytic methods are used, maternal urine, infant urine, and meconium analyses yield equivalent results for detection of prenatal cocaine exposure. Importantly, neither meconium nor urinary drug measurements detected cocaine exposure when the last reported use was prior to 3 weeks before delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-993
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume118
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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