Choice of an ELISA assay for screening postmortem blood for amphetamine and/or methamphetamine.J Anal Toxicol 2002; 26(7):513-8JA
The object of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the Neogen Corp. microtiter plate enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA) for the screening of postmortem blood for amphetamine and methamphetamine and to choose the more appropriate assay for screening. Forty-seven postmortem whole blood specimens were obtained from drug-involved deaths, which had been screened and confirmed positive for methamphetamine and/or amphetamine. Eighty-five negative specimens were obtained from non-amphetamines-involved deaths, 17 of which involved decomposition. Specimens were tested using the Neogen Amphetamine Ultra and Neogen Methamphetamine/MDMA microtiter plate ELISA assays. No matrix effects were found for whole blood in these assays, and a dilution of 1:5 was chosen to facilitate pipetting and to bring the IC50 of the microtiter plate ELISA assay within the range of amphetamines concentrations encountered in medical examiner specimens. True positives, true negatives, false positives, and false negatives were determined relative to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and graphed for the ELISA. From these graphs and the receiver operating curves (ROC), the optimal cut-off for the Neogen Methamphetamine/MDMA ELISA was 50 ng/mL methamphetamine equivalents and the optimum cut-off for the Neogen Amphetamine Ultra ELISA was 100 ng/mL amphetamine equivalents. The Neogen Methamphetamine ELISA had a sensitivity of 93.6% +/- 3.5% and a specificity of 77.6% +/- 4.5% versus GC-MS at the cut-off of 50-ng/mL methamphetamine equivalents. The Neogen Amphetamine Ultra ELISA had a sensitivity of 95.7% +/- 3.0% and a specificity of 72.9% +/- 5.2% versus GC-MS at the 100-ng/mL amphetamine equivalents cut-off. The areas under the ROCs were equivalent for the two ELISA assays.