Varying results for immunoassay screening kits for cotinine level

Psychol Addict Behav. 2002 Sep;16(3):256-9.


Our earlier study found that although enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis (ELISA) screening assays for urine cotinine indicated use in former smoking treatment patients who reported abstinence, this finding was sometimes incorrect when validated against gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/ MS; P. Gariti, A. I. Alterman, R. Ehrmann, F. D. Mulvaney, & C. P. O'Brien, 2002). In the current validation study, separate urine samples of 71 of these same patients were reanalyzed by an independent laboratory in blinded fashion using a screening enzyme immunoassay (EIA) analysis and GC/MS confirmation. EIA results showed almost total agreement with confirmatory testing. The findings indicate that use of screening ELISA/EIA for urine cotinine can detect unreported cases of smoking in former patients, but that care is needed in selecting a laboratory for conducting these tests.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cotinine / urine*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Cotinine