(Received 27 July 1978; accepted 4 November 1978)
Published Online: April
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In their recent report on the toxicology and epidemiology of cocaine, Finkle and McCloskey summarized data from 27 medical examiners' offices . Methods used by the contributing laboratories varied widely in sensitivity and specificity and included thin-layer chromatography, gas-liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectrophotometry, radioimmunoassay, and enzyme-linked immunoassay. The sensitivity range generally reported by participating laboratories was 1 to 2 μg/ml cocaine. Sixteen laboratories relied on detecting only parent cocaine, while eleven laboratories also analyzed for benzoylecgonine, the principal cocaine metabolite.
supervisor, Toxicology Laboratory, Sealy Hospital, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston,
Associate professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio,
Chief, Audie L. Murphy Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Antonio, Tex.
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