Yale New Haven Hospital

Department of Laboratory Medicine
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Nicotine and expanded metabolites, LC/MS/MS, urine

Lab Section: 

Sendout Reference


Lab Location: 


Reference Lab: 



Test ID: 




Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)


Monday, Wednesday, Friday


10 days

Specimen Requirements: 

Collection: 3.0 mL Urine in a Yellow Top Tube - Urine.
Pediatric volume: 1 mL.
Transport: Refrigerated (cold packs).
Stability: Ambient: 72 hours; Refrigerated: 14 days; Frozen: 30 days



Clinical Indications: This assay is used for the detection of nicotine and several metabolites and the related alkaloid anabasine in urine to determine the tobacco exposure status of the individual. Nicotine has a short half-life of approximately sixty minutes; Its presence may indicate recent tobacco exposure. The half-life of the various nicotine metabolites is longer and provides a larger window of detection for tobacco exposure. The presence of anabasine is indicative of tobacco exposure (smoked or smokeless) versus the use of a nicotine replacement patch product. Anabasine is a related alkaloid found only in the tobacco plant. Individuals exposed to passive tobacco smoke (environmental or second-hand) can have detectable concentrations of nicotine and its metabolites depending on the type of exposure. The ranges of concentrations related to passive exposure are not well established but normally are less than those attributed to active tobacco users.

Performing lab: Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute-Chantilly VA 14225 Newbrook Drive Chantilly, VA 20151-2228

Reference Interval: 

See patient report or consult reference laboratory website.


CPT Code(s): 


Last Changed: 

11/22/2016 09:42:32

Last Reviewed: 

8/28/2017 7:26:15