Pathology Handbook

Cotinine

Clinical Indications

Cotinine levels are raised in the blood and urine of smokers. Levels may therefore indicate whether someone is smoking (very high levels) or whether they have been exposed to passive smoking (lower levels).

Request Form 

Please use handwritten Biochemistry request form

Availability

On request

Patient Preparation

Samples should be taken less than 48 hours after the patient has been exposed to smoke; after intervals longer than this, levels will decline to the 'non-smoking' range.

Turnaround Time

7 days.

Specimen

Urine in white-top universal

Volume

minimum 2ml of urine or serum.

Container

Vacutainer red top

or 

Urine bottle white top

Lab Handling

Sent to referral laboratory (Llandough Toxicology lab)

Collection

Samples should be stored at 4oC until dispatch

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific criteria for analysis; delay in sample reaching laboratory or in wrong sample container

Interpretation

See reference laboratory report for interpretation of results