Detection of cotinine in neonate meconium as a marker for nicotine exposure in utero.East Mediterr Health J. 2004 Jan-Mar; 10(1-2):96-105.EM
Neonate meconium cotinine level was evaluated as a marker of prenatal exposure to nicotine from tobacco smoking by mothers. Mothers admitted to a maternity hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, were divided into 3 groups: 10 active smokers, 10 passive smokers and 10 with no tobacco exposure during pregnancy. Urine and saliva samples were collected from mothers and first-day meconium samples from their neonates. Mean maternal urinary cotinine levels, measured using radioimmunoassay, differed significantly between the 3 groups, as did mean salivary cotinine and mean cotinine levels in meconium. There was a significant positive correlation between cotinine levels in meconium and both maternal urinary and salivary cotinine levels. Meconium is an ideal biological marker for testing direct fetal exposure to tobacco smoke in the neonatal period.