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J Forensic Sci. 1994 Jan;39(1):150-8.

A comparison of meconium, maternal urine and neonatal urine for detection of maternal drug use during pregnancy.

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  • 1Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Raritan, NJ.


A large scale drug screening study was done to determine the prevalence of drug use in a large metropolitan, obstetric population. Meconium and first voided urine, as well as maternal urine were collected from 423 consecutive deliveries. Urine samples and methanolic extracts of meconium were initially screened by Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique (EMIT) and then confirmed by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Analysis of cocaine metabolite as benzoylecogonine, cannabinoid as carboxy-THC, codeine, morphine and methadone were included in the study. The positive rate for benzoylecgonine was virtually identical for meconium, maternal urine and neonatal urine (12%). Analysis of meconium was found to be more reliable than analysis of maternal or neonatal urine for the detection of benzoylecgonine. Meconium did not appear to offer an advantage over maternal or neonatal urine for detection of cannabinoid, codeine, morphine, or methadone.

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