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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Methods to Measure Salivary Cotinine Levels in Ill Children

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
2
Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
3
School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
4
Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041157
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
Objective: Cotinine is the preferred biomarker to validate levels of tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) in children. Compared to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods (ELISA) for quantifying cotinine in saliva, the use of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has higher sensitivity and specificity to measure very low levels of TSE. We sought to compare LC-MS/MS and ELISA measures of cotinine in saliva samples from children overall and the associations of these measures with demographics and TSE patterns. Method: Participants were nonsmoking children (N = 218; age mean (SD) = 6.1 (5.1) years) presenting to a pediatric emergency department. Saliva samples were analyzed for cotinine using both LC-MS/MS and ELISA. Limit of quantitation (LOQ) for LC-MS/MS and ELISA was 0.1 ng/mL and 0.15 ng/mL, respectively. Results: Intraclass correlations (ICC) across methods = 0.884 and was consistent in sex and age subgroups. The geometric mean (GeoM) of LC-MS/MS = 4.1 (range: < LOQ to 382 ng/mL; 3% < LOQ) which was lower (p < 0.0001) than the ELISA GeoM = 5.7 (range: < LOQ to 364 ng/mL; 5% < LOQ). Similar associations of cotinine concentrations with age ( β ^ < −0.10, p < 0.0001), demographic characteristics (e.g., income), and number of cigarettes smoked by caregiver ( β ^ > 0.07, p < 0.0001) were found regardless of cotinine detection method; however, cotinine associations with sex and race/ethnicity were only found to be significant in models using LC-MS/MS-derived cotinine. Conclusions: Utilizing LC-MS/MS-based cotinine, associations of cotinine with sex and race/ethnicity of child were revealed that were not detectable using ELISA-based cotinine, demonstrating the benefits of utilizing the more sensitive LC-MS/MS assay for cotinine measurement when detecting low levels of TSE in children. View Full-Text
Keywords: cotinine; ELISA; liquid chromatography; secondhand smoke exposure and children cotinine; ELISA; liquid chromatography; secondhand smoke exposure and children
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mahabee-Gittens, E.M.; Mazzella, M.J.; Doucette, J.T.; Merianos, A.L.; Stone, L.; Wullenweber, C.A.; A. Busgang, S.; Matt, G.E. Comparison of Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Methods to Measure Salivary Cotinine Levels in Ill Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1157. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041157

AMA Style

Mahabee-Gittens EM, Mazzella MJ, Doucette JT, Merianos AL, Stone L, Wullenweber CA, A. Busgang S, Matt GE. Comparison of Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Methods to Measure Salivary Cotinine Levels in Ill Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(4):1157. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041157

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mahabee-Gittens, E. M.; Mazzella, Matthew J.; Doucette, John T.; Merianos, Ashley L.; Stone, Lara; Wullenweber, Chase A.; A. Busgang, Stefanie; Matt, Georg E. 2020. "Comparison of Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Methods to Measure Salivary Cotinine Levels in Ill Children" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 4: 1157. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041157

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