Journal Article

Detection of Cocaine and its Metabolites in Amniotic Fluid and Umbilical Cord Tissue

Ruth E. Winecker, Bruce A. Goldberger, Ian Tebbett, Marylou Behnke, Fonda Davis Eyler, Michael Conlon, Kathy Wobie, Janet Karlix and Roger L. Bertholf

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 21, issue 2, pages 97-104
Published in print March 1997 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online March 1997 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Detection of Cocaine and its Metabolites in Amniotic Fluid and Umbilical Cord Tissue

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The increased use of cocaine by women of child-bearing age has left many health care scientists searching for improved methods of detecting prenatal cocaine exposure. To that end, a study of the determination of cocaine and its metabolites in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord tissue was undertaken. Amniotic fluid (n = 32) and umbilical cord tissue (n = 70) specimens were collected from pregnant subjects admitted to labor and delivery at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL). Subjects were interviewed regarding drug use during each trimester. Subjects reporting cocaine use were designated as target subjects, and those denying use were control subjects. The specimens were subjected to solid-phase extraction and analyzed for cocaine and its metabolites by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cocaine analytes (predominantly benzoylecgonine) were detected in 28.1 and 18.5% of the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord tissue specimens, respectively. Other cocaine analytes frequently detected included ecgonine methyl ester and m-hydroxybenzoylecgonine in amniotic fluid specimens and ecgonine methyl ester, norcocaine, and m-hydroxybenzoylecgonine in umbilical cord tissue specimens. This study has shown that cocaine and its metabolites are readily detected in specimens of maternal and fetal origin.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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