United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc. (USDTL) Unveils New Alcohol Biomarker in Umbilical Cord

Released: 3-Oct-2011 12:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: United States Drug Testing Laboratories (USDTL)
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Newswise — DES PLAINES, Ill. (October 1, 2011) - United States Drug Testing Laboratories (USDTL), a reference laboratory specializing in alcohol and drugs of abuse testing, released a new assay testing umbilical cord for newborn alcohol exposure in utero on Monday, October 3, 2011. The CordStat® EtOH assay screens for the direct alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth), an abnormal phospholipid formed in cell tissues following alcohol ingestion.

Fetal alcohol exposure has been recognized as the leading cause of preventable mental retardation and birth defects. Each year in the United States approximately 40,000 alcohol exposed newborns are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This condition can result in a variety of physical, behavioral and learning disorders. A recent SAMHSA survey reviewing data collected in 2009-2010 reported that 4.7 percent of pregnant women admitted binge or heavy drinking. Early identification is a key factor to improving outcomes for this group. Currently, identification relies on maternal self-report or the presence of a set of unique physical characteristics. Self-report has limited value in determining alcohol exposure and the physical characteristics may not appear until later in child’s development. The CordStat® EtOH assay will identify a hazardous level of alcohol consumption occurring in the last 3-4 weeks of the pregnancy.

PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid-term biomarker measurable after a minimum exposure of approximately a six drink binge, within three weeks prior to delivery. Sample amount is approximately 6 inches of umbilical cord.

CordStat® EtOH is an ideal clinical assay for healthcare practitioners concerned with monitoring newborns at high risk for having been exposed to alcohol during pregnancy and for developing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. The assay can be ordered as an add-on test to one of our standard CordStat® 5-, 7-, 9-, 12- and 13-drug panels. To order CordStat® EtOH, researchers and clinicians can contact Client Services at (800) 235-2367 or at customer.service@usdtl.com.

USDTL has been a leader in the drug testing industry since 1991 through research and assay development. The laboratory has an active research program supported, in part, by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. USDTL has made significant breakthroughs in the field of analytical toxicology by developing procedures to diagnose newborns for prenatal drug exposure using meconium and umbilical cord tissue and provides workplace and rehabilitation drug testing cost effectively using hair and nail specimens. To find out more, please visit www.usdtl.com.


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