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Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1998 Mar;25(1):43-64.

Detection of drug use during pregnancy.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York, USA.


Several methods of drug testing are efficacious in identifying and monitoring drug use during pregnancy. Urine screening remains the most commonly used method despite the limited period during which drugs can be detected. Hair has been recognized as a possible alternate test specimen, but wider acceptance of hair testing must await better understanding of drug disposition in hair, answers to the issues relating to interpretation, and the development of less demanding laboratory techniques. Regardless of the matrix used, proper interpretation of the results of drug testing requires familiarity with the sensitivity, specificity, and limitations of the laboratory methodologies employed. Moreover, unconfirmed positive results may actually be false-positives and must be interpreted with caution, particularly if they are the basis for major clinical decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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