Toxicology Confirmation Testing

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Discover how Genesis Molecular Diagnostics provides thorough toxicology confirmation testing.

Toxicology confirmation testing is performed to positively identify specific compounds or substances within an individual's system in a more detailed way that what's normally done with routine testing. It's done by matching substances to a commercially prepared reference.

  • Confirmation testing is a secondary type of testing that is done using a different testing method than what was used to initially test a sample
  • The main purpose of doing a second test on the same sample is to provide assurance that the initial results were correct

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Why Toxicology Confirmation is Done

Toxicology confirmation may be done simply to verify results of the first test that was performed. It can also be done if a patient tested positive for a certain class of drugs on their initial test to identify the specific drug within that class. For instance, a patient can test positive for opiates on an initial tox screen and a toxicology confirmation may reveal that the opiates involved are fentanyl and oxycodone. Additional reasons for requesting toxicology confirmation may include:

  • Verification that at a patient is taking their medication(s) as prescribed
  • Identification of illicit drugs or medications not prescribed to a patient
  • Showing possible correlations between medication usage and patient behaviors
  • Confirmation of specific medications an individual indicated they were taking for valid medical reasons prior to drug testing
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Possible Benefits of Confirmation Testing

When toxicology testing, often involving a urine or oral fluid sample, is done for drug testing or screening, results are sometimes questioned by either the individual who was tested or the official or medical professional who requested it. Toxicology testing that includes both initial testing and confirmation allows for more certainty with results for all parties involved. Confirmation testing also has lower cutoff levels than the levels used for an initial toxicology test. Because of lower cutoff levels, confirmation testing can identify substances at lower levels than what's shown on a basic screening.

How Toxicology Confirmation is Performed

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) are the two technologies often used to perform toxicology confirmation testing. The original sample is used for testing to ensure that all initial variables are still the same. Results of initial testing with immunoassays using antibodies are considered presumptive because there is the potential for false negatives or positives. GC-MS and LC-MS testing methods are considered more reliable and conclusive.

Toxicology Confirmation Results

The results with toxicology confirmation testing are qualitative, meaning the test identifies the presence of specific substances. However, the results are not usually quantitative, so specific levels of substances aren't identified. If such information is required, additional testing can be done. Results are typically presented with "positive" or "negative" indications for each of the substances tested for comparison purposes. The results are broken down to indicate the presence of individual drugs or substances.

Genesis Molecular Diagnostics provides confidential drug test results with easy collection methods. Toxicology confirmation testing is conducted at our lab by trained technicians using proven, reliable methods. Results are processed quickly and detailed reports of results can be viewed online.