June 29, 2023

In utero drug exposure is a significant public health threat to the well-being and normal development of the neonate. Recently, testing of umbilical cord tissue (UCT) has been employed to measure illicit drug exposure. UCT testing is a well-established method which uses a segment of the newborn's cord collected at the time of delivery. UCT shares a detection window similar to that of meconium, as drugs consumed by the mother during the third trimester may be retained. The in utero effects of illicit drug adulterants and cutting agents have not been well studied in humans, nor has their presence been demonstrated to be an effective means for assessing adverse health effects in the neonate.