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USDTL Research

The Identification of Prenatal Exposure to Mitragynine Using Umbilical Cord Tissue

Mary Ellen Wright, Donna Coy, Joseph Jones, Andre Sukta, Amy Racines, Mary Jones

First published: 2022 DOI: 10.4236/ajac.2022.134011


Objective: Kratom is widely available and literature exploring the effects of prenatal kratom exposure is lacking. This study aims to report a validated method for the detection of mitragynine in the umbilical cord and report our observations for specimens received at a national commercial reference laboratory.

Study Design: Assays were validated according to the recommendations of ANSI/ASB. A retrospective evaluation of records at a national reference laboratory was conducted to determine prevalence and co-exposure to other substances of abuse.

Result: Mitragynine was detected in 19 of 4456 specimens (0.43%) with concentrations ranging from 4 to >50 ng/g. Thirteen (13) of these specimens were positive for only mitragynine while the other 6 were also positive for either marijuana or opiates.

Conclusion: Umbilical cord is a suitable specimen type for the surveillance of maternal kratom use and can be used to identify exposed neonates for further investigations into short- or long- term health consequences.

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Published by: United States Drug Testing Laboratories on

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