Specimen validity testing in urine drug monitoring of medications and illicit drugs: Clinical implications

Kenneth L. Kirsh, Paul J. Christo, Howard Heit, Katherine Steffel, Steven D. Passik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To discuss the importance of specimen validity testing (SVT) in urine drug testing (UDT) and the clinical role it plays in identifying efforts to subvert the UDTprocess. Methods: A discussion of the clinical impact ofSVTis presented. Results: A discussion of pH, specific gravity, creatinine, and oxidation for monitoring the adulteration of UDT samples is presented along with the clinical significance of such tests. Significance: SVThas a significant place in healthcare efforts to measure patient adherence, behavior, and honesty in communication with clinicians. SVTis typically ordered by treating clinicians who use the results to make therapeutic decisions regarding specific medical problems of their patient, including those related to medication and illicit drug use. In the absence o/SVT, a healthcare provider may fail to identify a patient's adulteration of their urine sample in an attempt at deceiving the provider. Moreover, the presence of some underlying medical conditions may obfuscate the UDT results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of opioid management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Adulteration
  • Behavior
  • Specimen validity
  • Urine drug testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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