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Protocol - Biomarker of exposure to nicotine-containing products - Urine

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Description:

A biospecimen is collected from the respondent to measure cotinine, a marker of either smoking or of environmental tobacco smoke exposure. One of the most common methods is via a urine sample obtained from the respondent. Cotinine in urine is measured by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

Protocol:

The respondent is asked to urinate in a sterile 90-mL urine specimen container. Children above the age of 10 and adults can self-collect the urine. The specimen should be refrigerated immediately after collection. Aliquot 3mLs into a 4 mL cryovial. Freeze the cryovial at -20°C until analysis. If the samples need to be stored greater than 1 year freeze at -80°C.

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is the preferred method to accurately measure cotinine in urine samples. (See source references for details.) The limit of detection is 0.20 ng/mL. A result of 100 ng/mL urinary cotinine or more is indicative of an active smoker.

Protocol Name from Source:

NA - see source

Availability:

Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

Urine samples can be self-collected by children aged 10 or older with adequate instructions. A laboratory technician trained to process and analyze biological specimens is necessary to analyze urine samples.

Equipment Needs

Standard urine collection supplies that have been sterilized. Laboratory supplies and instruments are needed to measure cotinine in biological fluids. Biological samples may be shipped using appropriate shipping procedures to laboratories that specialize in these types of analysis.

Requirements
Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training Yes
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Bioassay

Life Stage:

Child, Adolescent, Adult, Senior, Pregnancy

Participants:

Ages 3 and up

Specific Instructions:

Caffeine may interfere with the accuracy of the results. During the gas chromatography analysis, this interference can be minimized by ramping up the temperature and eluting the caffeine later than the cotinine.

Selection Rationale

Urine is easily collected and with the proper laboratory equipment, cotinine can be measured accurately from a sterile urine sample. Urinary cotinine is a frequently measured biomarker and produces more quantifiable results than other metabolites.

There are other assays (e.g., radioimmunoassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) used to measure cotinine but gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is preferred.

Language

English

Standards
StandardNameIDSource
Common Data Elements (CDE) Person Urine Cotinine Assay Concentration Level Code 3061171 CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Resp urine assay smoke exp proto 62641-6 LOINC
Derived Variables

None

Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #6 (ERP 6) reviewed the measures in the Respiratory domain.

Guidance from ERP 6 includes:

  • Revised descriptions of the measure
  • Changed the name of the measure from "Urine Assay for Tobacco Smoke Exposure" to "Biomarker of Exposure to Nicotine-containing Products"

Previous version can be found in the Toolkit archive (link)

Source

Man, C. N., L.-H. Gam, Ismail, S., Lajis, R., Awang, R. 2006. Simple, rapid and sensitive assay method for simultaneous quantification of urinary nicotine and cotinine using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J of Chromatography B 844(2): 322-327.

General References

Avila-Tang E, Al-Delaimy WK, Ashley DL, Benowitz N, Bernert JT, Kim S, Samet JM, Hecht SS. (2013). Assessing secondhand smoke using biological markers. Tob Control, 22(3): 164-871.

Benowitz, N.L. (1999). Biomarkers of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 107(Suppl 2):3 49-355.

Benowitz, N. L. (1996). Cotinine as a biomarker of environmental tobacco smoke exposure. Epidemiol Rev, 18(2), 188-204.

Dhar, P. (2004). Measuring tobacco smoke exposure: quantifying nicotine/cotinine concentration in biological samples by colorimetry, chromatography and immunoassay methods. J Pharm Biomed Anal, 35(2004), 155-168.

Kuo, H.W., Yang, J.S., Chiu, M.C. (2002). Determination of urinary and salivary cotinine using gas and liquid chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 768(2):297-303.

Protocol ID:

91701

Variables:
Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX091701_Cotinine_Concentration PX091701010000 Concentration of urinary cotinine in ng/mL. 4 Variable Mapping
Research Domain Information
Measure Name:

Biomarker of exposure to nicotine-containing products

Release Date:

May 12, 2010

Definition

Cotinine is a major metabolite of nicotine and is an indicator of exposure to nicotine from tobacco or other nicotine containing products.

Purpose

To assess smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure by measuring cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine. To screen for tobacco use and quantity and to estimate exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and all tobacco exposure. Also used as an outcome measure in smoking cessation trials to determine if an individual has quit smoking.

Keywords

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES, Respiratory