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J Anal Toxicol. 2013 Sep;37(7):391-4. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkt052. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Detection of in utero marijuana exposure by GC-MS, ultra-sensitive ELISA and LC-TOF-MS using umbilical cord tissue.

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1
ARUP Laboratories, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Abstract

Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can cause health problems in the neonate. The detection of exposure can guide treatment to meet the short- and long-term medical and social needs. Umbilical cord tissue was analyzed for 11-nor-delta-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and compared with ultra-sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF-MS). Fortified extracts of drug-free cord tissue were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the LC-TOF-MS and ELISA assays, and 16 de-identified patient specimens previously analyzed by GC-MS were tested for THC-COOH by both methods. The cutoffs were 0.050 ng/g for the GC-MS assay, 0.1 ng/g for the ELISA assay and 1 ng/g for the LC-TOF-MS assay. Twelve specimens were negative by all three methods. Seven specimens were positive by GC-MS with concentrations from 0.066 to 6.095 ng/g. ELISA and LC-TOF-MS did not detect one specimen that was positive by GC-MS. LC-TOF-MS missed one specimen that was detected by GC-MS and ELISA. Five positive specimens were detected by all three methods. These results were consistent with the cutoff for each method. No false positives were detected by LC-TOF-MS or ELISA. Umbilical cord tissue is a viable specimen for the detection of in utero marijuana exposure. ELISA and GC-MS were more sensitive than LC-TOF-MS for the detection of THC-COOH in cord tissue, with the GC-MS method providing superior sensitivity.

PMID:
23843423
DOI:
10.1093/jat/bkt052
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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