Journal Article

Monitoring Cocaine Use in Substance-Abuse-Treatment Patients by Sweat and Urine Testing

Kenzie L. Preston, Marilyn A. Huestis, Conrad J. Wong, Annie Umbricht, Bruce A. Goldberger and Edward J. Cone

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 23, issue 5, pages 313-322
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Monitoring Cocaine Use in Substance-Abuse-Treatment Patients by Sweat and Urine Testing

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Sweat and urine specimens were collected from 44 methadone-maintenance patients to evaluate the use of sweat testing to monitor cocaine use. Paired sweat patches that were applied and removed weekly (on Tuesdays) were compared with 3–5 consecutive urine specimens collected Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. All patches (N = 930) were extracted in 2.5 m/of solvent and analyzed by ELISA immunoassay (cutoff concentration 10 ng/mL); a subset of patches (N = 591) was also analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for cocaine, benzoylecgonine (BZE), and ecgonine methyl ester (EME) (cutoff concentration 5 ng/mL). Urine specimens were subjected to qualitative analysis by EMIT (cutoff 300 ng/mL) and subsets were analyzed by TDx (semiquantitative, LOD 30 ng/mL) and by GC-MS for cocaine (LOD 5 ng/mL). Results were evaluated to (1) determine the relative amounts of cocaine and its metabolites in sweat; (2) assess replicability in duplicate patches; (3) compare ELISA and GC-MS results for cocaine in sweat; and (4) compare the detection of cocaine use by sweat and urine testing. Cocaine was detected by GC-MS in 99% of ELISA-positive sweat patches; median concentrations of cocaine, BZE, and EME were 378, 78.7, and 74 ng/mL, respectively. Agreement in duplicate patches was approximately 90% by ELISA analysis. The sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency of sweat ELISA cocaine results as compared with sweat GC-MS results were 93.6%, 91.3%, and 93.2%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency between ELISA sweat patch and EMIT urine results were 97.6%, 60.5%, and 77.7%, respectively. These results support the use of sweat patches for monitoring cocaine use, though further evaluation is needed.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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