Saliva testing--a nontraditional diagnostic tool

Clin Lab Sci. 1994 Jan-Feb;7(1):39-44.


Objective: To demonstrate the advantages of saliva testing over more common methods of determining concentrations of hormones, drugs, and viral antibodies in blood.

Data sources: Recent professional journals, product literature, bibliographies, and conference proceedings.

Study selection: Not applicable.

Data extraction: Survey of literature.

Data synthesis: In the past 10 years, saliva has been used increasingly to determine concentrations of steroid hormones, HIV antibodies, drugs of abuse, and therapeutic drugs in blood. Benefits of using saliva rather than blood or urine for diagnostic testing include convenience and economy of specimen collection, ease of multiple sampling, and low risk of exposing laboratorians to hazardous samples.

Conclusion: Saliva testing is possible with currently available laboratory technologies. If benefits of saliva testing are to be fully realized, laboratorians must provide physicians with data showing correlations of analyte concentrations in saliva, blood, and urine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Humans
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Specimen Handling
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods