What is LC-MS/MS Drug Testing?

About LC-MS/MS Drug Testing

Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has evolved over the past 15 years into a critical technique utilized by different types of laboratories to perform regular tests. It was primarily used traditionally by commercial, pharmaceutical, and research laboratories. However, with improved software, lower costs of basic systems, and technological advances, these tests have been made more accessible for all laboratories. Keystone offers this sort of testing and is happy to answer any questions you might have.  

LC-MS/MS is a technique for detecting and measuring the concentration of chemical compounds in a liquid sample. It detects drugs in blood, urine, and other bodily fluids. Forensics, food safety, and pharmacology use this technique.

Why Use LC-MS/MS Drug Testing?

Clinicians can improve patient care by evaluating concentrations of medications found in a patient’s system. Close monitoring of medication concentrations enables the adjustment of dosage regimens based on the patient’s different metabolic rates, thereby enhancing and personalizing care. 

However, this type of testing helps test for illegal drugs and other substances as well. This is a very accurate method of testing that doesn’t require a huge amount of prep work for the sample to deliver accurate results.

Therefore it is very commonly used for drug testing. This method is far more accurate than rapid testing. But that accuracy does come with a price. If you or your company is looking for highly accurate results for a drug test, the LC-MS/MS drug testing is the way to go. We work with businesses to develop a testing procedure that will work for them. Our trained professionals are very competent in understanding the different types of drug testing we offer. When finding a drug test panel, we can assist you by asking some questions.

There are different panels available for different reasons. While some need to simply test for one drug, others might need a full panel. Both of these options are available to our clients.

LC-MS/MS Benefits

The most advanced drug testing technology is LC-MS/MS this is because:

  • Precision-This testing type is precise and gives very accurate and detailed information.
  • Accuracy-The accuracy of the data produced during this testing is unmatched by other types of lab testing we perform. 
  • The sensitivity-The test is very sensitive and can detect even minor amounts of different substances.
  • Selective-It is very selective in its detection.

Because somewhat contaminated substances can be examined, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry provides an alternate drug testing approach that decreases the amount of offline sample preparation required in GC/MS. This means that it can perform without being super precise in obtaining the sample and yet still provide very accurate information.

Choosing a Drug Testing Method

When selecting a drug testing method, four main elements must be considered:

Selectivity– is the ability to distinguish between comparable medications. Similarities in the chemical structures of various drugs can result in false positives. However, that is not the case using this method. This is an advantage of using this sort of method, as it is very accurate with its analytics. 

Sensitivity – This is the lowest drug concentration that the test can precisely recognize.  This testing method allows the detection of drugs in both very low and high concentrations. Low sensitivity causes false negative outcomes. This will help against false positives due to the patient being around different drugs, such as secondhand smoke from marijuana. Therefore, this sort of testing is perfect for those looking for court reasons.  

Accuracy – This measures how near the test results are to the true value. Data processing, analysis, sample preparation, and sampling all contribute to the accuracy of a drug testing procedure.

Robustness and precision – The testing technique’s ability to produce repeatable results is robustness and precision. In an exceedingly variable sample like urine, precision is critical.
Why Do We Need LC-MS/MS Drug Testing Technology?

The process of drug testing is an essential step in the medical industry. It identifies the presence of drugs in a person’s system. This is how this is done to measure the levels of drugs in a person’s urine, blood, hair, or sweat. While there are other testing methods, nothing performs as well as the LC-MS/MS test. This is a highly accurate way of testing that gives very accurate results.

In fact, this is the preferred method of testing for those going to court. It is also the method used for DOT exams in some cases. This type of test is done after the initial quick rapid test. This rapid test is best to find out if there is a presence of drugs, but it will not identify, in many cases, the number of drugs and type. That’s why the LC-MS/MS Drug Testing process is best.  

This type of testing is far more extensive than a rapid test. Which also means that it is much more costly. However, you want to go with this test if accuracy is more important than time savings. Many times, it is only performed on those that have already had a rapid test, but that’s not always the case. The type of testing required for different industries is different by state and industry. These regulations are understood by Keystone, which is why it is so important to find a testing lab like Keystone that follows the proper protocol and regulations set by the state.

Why is LC-MS/MS Drug Testing So Popular?

LC-MS/MS Drug Testing technology has become popular because it is much more sensitive than other methods and can detect smaller amounts of drugs. This method is also far more accurate. It can detect drugs in small doses but not misdiagnose for other things. These things are secondhand marijuana smoke or, you may have heard about Poppy seeds and how they can give a false positive for opioids. Through this testing method, these inaccurate results don’t occur.  

Keystone offers this testing method to give our clients the most accurate results possible. If you should have any questions or concerns regarding this type of testing method, give us a call at 800-230-2991 today.

Work With A Trusted Toxicology Expert

Keystone Laboratories, a CAP-accredited North Carolina licensed laboratory and CLIA-licensed lab, is committed to helping you make important decisions that impact the safety and health of your patients with greater confidence. Clients in 48 states can get prescription drug and substance abuse recovery monitoring, specialized testing, workplace drug testing, screening, and program management services from Keystone. Contact Keystone Laboratories today to receive the industry-leading laboratory testing services!

LC-MS/MS Drug Testing
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