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J Clin Lab Anal. 2011;25(4):244-5. doi: 10.1002/jcla.20466.

Unusual false-positive case of urinary screening for buprenorphine.

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U.O. Diagnostica Ematochimica, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy.


Buprenorphine is a centrally acting analgesic drug that is administered for the management of opioid dependence and as an analgesic drug for the treatment of chronic pain. The growing use of this substance has determined an increased need for laboratory testing for either detection and confirmation of the illicit use or monitoring compliance as a substitution therapy for opioid dependence. We describe here the case of urinary sample adulteration with exogenous buprenorphine (6,952‚ÄČng/ml), which has led to afalse-positive immunoassay test result (14.9‚ÄČng/ml) on a subsequent sample due to a phenomenon of instrumental carry-over. This unusual case confirms the importance to take into account adulteration when screening urines for buprenorphine in patients undergoing substitution therapy for opioid dependence, routinely perform a confirmation assay on positive samples, and rule out instrumental carry-over.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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