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A Journal on Forensic Medicine




Minerva Medicolegale 2008 June;128(2):49-55

language: Italian

Detection of drugs of abuse in serum. Detection of drug abuse cut-offs in serum and case-records

Bernini M., Ruffini D., Manzoni S., Saligari E., De Ferrari F.

Cattedra di Medicina Legale, Tossicologia Forense Dipartimento di Specialità Chirurgiche Scienze Radiologiche e Medico Forensi Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italia


Aim. The aim of this study was to determine drug abuse in serum with methods previously validated, adopting commercially available kits (Emit II Plus® by V-Twin™, Dade Behring, Cupertino, CA, USA), normally utilized to perform urine analysis.
Methods. One hundred serum samples were analyzed for cocaine metabolites, opiates, methadone, cannabinoids, amphetamines and ecstasy; every positive sample was confirmed by alternative gas-chromatographic tecniques (GC/MS and GC/NPD); for cannabinoids, amphetamines and ecstasy both positive and negative samples were confirmed. Some real negative samples were also analyzed, and they all resulted no false positive.
Results. Only one sample out of one hundred was determined false positive for cocaine metabolites when confirmed.
Conclusion. The trial suggests that this method is a very simple and valid one to release reports in a few days, although Forensic Laboratory always need a confirmation on positive screening tests.

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