The objective of this study is to determine the incidence of occult intrauterine drug abuse exposure through an anonymous toxicology meconium study. Of the 1746 samples of first meconium from nonselected neonates collected between June 1, 1995 and June 1, 1996 in a large inner-city hospitals of Rome, 1427 were analysed for the detection of cocaine opiate and cannabinoid metabolites. Infant's characteristics were statistically correlated with the results. 120 (8.4%) tested meconium specimens were positive for one drug. 11 (0.77%) were positive for opiates, 3 (0.2%) for cocaine metabolites and 106 (7.4%) for cannabinoids. Only one sample was positive for both opiates and cannabinoids. Statistical analysis demonstrated a significant relationship between the use of drugs during pregnancy and prematurity, low birth weight and gestational age. The Authors stress the importance of the serious unsuspected prevalence of occult intrauterine drug exposure. In addition the Authors suggest the meconium analysis offers a practical advantage to assess the detection of drug substances in a selected population.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Rivista Italiana di Pediatria|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health