To view the Meconium Testing Panels and Collection Instructions, click here.
Newborn Testing For Alcohol Biomarkers 11-Nov-2016
Who Cares About Chain of Custody? 11-Nov-2016
THCA Meconium State Law 28-Jul-2016
A Moment In Time 02-Feb-2015
Lost Opportunities 02-Feb-2015
Marijuana Use in Pregnancy 01-May-2013
USDTL Meconium Research
The Detection of Oxycodone in Meconium Specimens 01-Jan-2005
Determination of drugs of abuse in meconium 21-Aug-1998
Cocaethylene in meconium specimens 01-Jan-1994
Meconium Poster Presentations
Assessment of Maternal Drinking Patterns from Self-Report Screening and Two Direct Alcohol Biomarkers in Newborns
Using Umbilical Cord Tissue to Detect Fetal Exposure to Illicit Drugs: A Multi-Centered Study in Utah and New Jersey
USDTL Meconium Assisted Research
Meconium Foundational Research
Meconium Slide Presentations
The Importance of Following Forensic Principles in Newborn Drug Testing by Dr. Irene Shu
To help you have the best possible solutions that science can offer, we are consistently evaluating our processes to keep them ahead of the curve. As science progresses, so do our capabilities. Because of such progress, we have some important updates to the meconium collection process.
Effective July 18, 2016, USDTL will be implementing a new way of reporting quantitative results. In order to satisfy accreditation requirement, the concentrations of drugs exceeding the Upper Limit of Quantification (ULOQ) for any given drug will be reported as > ULOQ (greater than ULOQ). The ULOQ will be provided.
Quantity Not Sufficient (QNS) is a result of not having a sufficient quantity (volume) of
specimen to test for the panels ordered. The amount of specimen required for collection
is directly related to the amount of specimen needed to screen and confirm for the panels we offer. The initial screening uses a portion of the original specimen and the confirmation testing uses another portion of the original specimen. To forensically confirm positives, means running a new test, with a new portion of the original specimen, using a different analytical technique.
It is our first priority to deliver testing results that provide the most valuable information possible for your substance abuse testing needs. To better accomplish this duty to our clients, we are updating our policy concerning specimens that do not have sufficient volume for both preliminary testing and confirmation. Effective April 1, 2015, confirmatory tests that cannot be completed due to insufficient specimen volume will be canceled on an individual drug class and/or analyte basis. We will report confirmation results for each test for which there is sufficient volume of specimen available, giving you access to more information.
*Click the green and white plus sign beside each question to view the answer.
Can Meconium Testing for FAEE be run in conjunction with testing for panels for illegal drugs?
Yes, Meconium Testing 5-, 7-, 9- and 12-drug panels can all be bundled with Meconium Testing for FAEE.
Do doctors know about Meconium Testing for FAEE? Does USDTL have a means of informing doctors of this new test?
Yes and No. Many physicians know about the test from scientific publications and literature from USDTL. There are, however, many physicians that are not yet knowledgeable about the test and have never ordered it. If your local physicians do not have the necessary information to order the test, call Client Services at 1-800-235-2367 and the scientific information will be supplied.
Have meconium results been used in court cases?
Yes. Meconium results, when determined using two separate, validated laboratory procedures based on different scientific principles, are forensically defensible. Our laboratory procedures have been scrutinized by laboratory inspectors, and our test results have been upheld in court.
How are meconium results reported to the hospital?
How can DHS Methamphetamine specialists use information about Meconium Testing for FAEE to improve our protection of children?
Results from Meconium Testing for FAEE give DHS personnel direct information about newborns who have been exposed to high levels of Ethyl Alcohol. Approximately 3 percent of all newborns have been exposed to high levels of alcohol and these newborns’ meconium specimens have FAEE levels greater than 10,000 ng/gram. This “red flag” level represents only one quarter of the total number of alcohol exposed newborns. Three quarters of alcohol exposed newborns were exposed to small or moderate amounts of alcohol and represent lower risks of manifesting signs and symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The newborns with FAEE levels greater than 10,000 are at higher risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, as well as a higher probability of living in a chaotic environment where abuse or neglect is more likely.
How can positive drug or alcohol test results be interpreted? If the quantity of drug or alcohol metabolite detected is high could that be an indication that the donor (1) was consuming a large amount, (2) was using recently, or (3) was using frequently?
There are too many variables for anyone to know time of use, dosage, or frequency from the result(s) of a drug test. Reservoir matrices such as hair, fingernail, umbilical cord, and meconium continuously collect drug and alcohol biomarkers. This makes it difficult to determine specific details of use. Because the biomarker is collected over a period of time, the results represent total accumulation that cannot be pin-pointed to specific times/dates/dosages, etc.
How does NIDA and the court system view the validity of Meconium Testing for FAEE?
NIDA (The National Institute on Drug Abuse) actually is NOT the institute that funded the original research for FAEE in meconium. It was the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that provided USDTL with the grant funds to develop Meconium Testing for FAEE. This test has become the de facto standard for laboratory diagnosis of fetal alcohol exposure and is in routine use all over the United States and Canada. Courts have held that Meconium Testing for FAEE meets both the Fry and Daubert standards, and the results are admissible in adversarial proceedings.
How many days until I receive results?
Screen negative results will be transmitted to your secure fax on the same day on which the laboratory receives the sample. Screen positive results will be confirmed using a separate technique and reported 2-3 business days after specimen receipt.
How much meconium is needed for the test?
A minimum of 2 grams of meconium (a teaspoon) is normally required, although some tests, such as "confirmatory tests only" can be performed with less. However, for best results, we recommend collection of the entire passage of meconium until the milk stool appears.
Mother tested negative for chemicals on a saliva test, 8 days later, her baby was born and its meconium drug screen showed the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamine. What does this mean?
Please describe the new meconium test for alcohol.
Meconium Testing for FAEE is a test of the non-oxidative metabolites of ethanol called Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters. These metabolites are the chemical combination for endogenous fatty acids present in the blood of a fetus and Ethyl Alcohol. These new compounds, which only form when the fetus is exposed to Ethyl Alcohol, are deposited into the fetus’s meconium and can then be detected and quantified from the newborn’s meconium after delivery. The amount of the Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters found in the meconium is representative of the amount of Ethyl Alcohol the fetus was exposed to during the last half of the pregnancy.
What are the meconium sample storage requirements?
What information can you give on testing of meconium and why some experts state that it depends what part of the meconium is sent into labs as to what will test positive?
What is m-OH-BZE?
Lewis D, Moore C, Becker J, Leikin J. Prevalence of meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE) in meconium samples. Bulletin of the lnt.Ass.Forens Toxicol 1995;25(3):33-36
What is the relationship between alcohol consumed and FAEE levels?
Based on two research studies reported in peer-reviewed literature, the total FAEE levels in excess of 10,000 ng/g show significant ethanol exposure in the newborn. (Moore C, Jones J, Lewis D, Buchi K. Prevalence of fatty acid ethyl esters in meconium specimens. Clin Chem 2003;49(1):133-136)
What is the window of detection for meconium?
Why test for fetal alcohol exposure when there is no treatment available?
- Early diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effect (FAE) allow newborns to be identified and enrolled into early intervention and treatment programs. New programs are showing dramatic improvements in children identified earlier in life.
- Detection of an alcohol affected child can allow help, intervention and treatment to be offered to the mother, so that future FAS and FAE children may be prevented.
- When cocaine- and opiate-exposed newborns were first detected, there was no treatment. As programs, understanding and treatments improve, diagnosis at a very early stage can only help the outcome of the child, mother and family.
Why was one matrix positive and another negative on the same donor?