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J Anal Toxicol. 2001 Jul-Aug;25(5):310-5.

Laboratory analysis of remotely collected oral fluid specimens for opiates by immunoassay.

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  • 1OraSure Technologies, Inc, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA.


The performance characteristics of a method for detecting opiates (morphine, codeine, heroin, and 6-acetylmorphine [6-AM]) in oral fluid specimens were examined and compared with methods for urine specimens. The oral fluid was easily obtained using a simple device that collects between 1 and 1.5 mL of fluid for laboratory analysis. Simultaneously collected specimens from 60 known opiate abusers from a drug-treatment center were first tested using an immunoassay cutoff of 10 ng/mL in oral fluids and 2,000 ng/mL in urine. Using a second aliquot, opiate confirmation in urine was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and in oral fluids by GC-MS-MS. The combined immunoassay and GC-MS-MS procedures were completed with less than 250 pL of oral fluid. Opiates identified in oral fluid specimens from heroin users included morphine, codeine, heroin, and 6-AM. The immunoassay was tested for precision, stability, and the effects of potential cross-reactants. The results yielded 93.6% agreement between oral fluid and urine, suggesting that oral fluid may be a reliable matrix for opiate detection.

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