Detection of cotinine in newborn dried blood spots

Division of Epidemiology/Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street, Southeast, MMC 715, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.32). 10/2007; 16(9):1902-5. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0230
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Maternal smoking while pregnant is a plausible risk factor for childhood cancers because many seem to initiate in utero and tobacco-specific carcinogens cross the placenta. Social desirability bias may affect maternal report of smoking in case-control studies and could explain inconsistently observed associations with offspring cancer. Detection of tobacco smoke biomarkers in dried blood spots (DBS), which are increasingly stored by newborn screening programs, may improve retrospective assessment of fetal tobacco exposure. As proof-of-principle, we examined cotinine in DBS of 20 infants enrolled in a pilot study of pregnancy among low-income women. We recruited 107 pregnant women (<30 weeks of gestation) from six Women, Infants, and Children clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul in 1999. Blood samples obtained at enrollment were tested for total cotinine using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Women were then interviewed at 7 months of gestation to determine current smoking habits. DBS were obtained from the Minnesota Department of Health. We tested DBS from 10 infants whose mothers had detectable serum cotinine at baseline and 10 control infants whose mothers had none. One quarter of each DBS was assayed for cotinine using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; levels were estimated assuming 50 muL blood per sample. Mean cotinine was 29 ng/mL (SD, 7.5), 45 ng/mL (SD, 9.7), and 9 ng/mL (SD, 7.4), respectively, among infants of all smokers, infants of four women who acknowledged smoking at 7 months of gestation, and infants of nonsmokers. These results suggest that DBS analysis may identify infants of women who smoke throughout pregnancy.

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    ABSTRACT: Dried blood spots (DBSs) can provide accurate and valuable estimates of exposure to environmental toxicants, and the use of information derived from archived newborn DBSs has enormous potential to open up new research on the impacts of early chemical exposure on disease. Broad application of DBS for the purpose of quantitative exposure estimation requires robust and validated methods. This study investigates the suitability of DBS analyses for population studies of exposure to three chemical groups: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and chlorinated pesticides. It examines background (matrix) contamination, recovery and extraction variability, sensitivity, and storage stability. DBS samples prepared using 50μL of adult blood were analyzed by GC/MS, and method performance was confirmed by using certified materials and paired DBS-blood samples from six volunteers. Several of the target compounds and their degradation products have not been previously measured in DBSs. All target compounds were detected in DBS samples collected from the volunteers. Sample DBS cards showed background contamination of several compounds. When stored at room temperature, target compounds, excluding PBDEs, were stable for up to one month. When refrigerated or frozen, stability was acceptable for all compounds up to one year, and multiyear storage appears acceptable at colder (e.g., -80°C) temperatures. Multicompartment models may be used to estimate or correct for storage losses. Considering concentrations of contaminants for adults and children reported in the literature, and experimental values of detection limits and background contamination, DBS samples are suitable for quantifying exposures to many PCBs, BFRs and persistent pesticides.
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