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Express Diagnostics lab services testing methods header graphic

Lab Services testing methods and methodology

Drug Testing Methods

Urine Drug Testing

The most widely used and validated biologic method of testing for both legal and illegal substances is through the analysis of urine specimens. Urine drug testing offers a typical window of detection of 1 to 3 days for most drugs, compared to several hours for saliva testing. Our Lab Services partner’s urine drug testing platform incorporates screening by immunoassay or mass spectrometry and confirmation by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).

Oral Fluid Testing

Recognizing that urine drug testing may not be entirely suitable for all purposes and settings, our Lab Services partner offers oral fluid testing as an alternative, either standalone or complementary. Oral fluid testing continues to emerge as an efficient, effective modality of testing with a number of advantages, including:

  • Ease of collection
  • Minimal personal invasiveness
  • The ability to observe each collection can help reduce pre-analytical manipulation of the specimen by the donor.

Compared to urine, drugs or their metabolites are typically in a donor’s system for a shorter period and at lower concentrations in saliva. Recent improvements in methods and instrumentation have improved the effectiveness of oral fluid testing and it is beginning to be recognized and accepted by a wide range of industries, agencies, and organizations.

Testing Methodology and Quality Assurance

Testing Methodology

Express Diagnostics’ Lab Services partner analyzes specimens using the latest technology, including immunoassay screening and liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Specimen screenings incorporate immunoassays for determination of classes of substances, while the confirmation process utilizes mass spectrometry in the analysis of all screened positive substances.

Adulterant / Specimen Validity Testing

Specimen validity testing quantifies the levels of creatinine, oxidants, pH, and specific gravity contained in each specimen to determine if a urine specimen has been adulterated, diluted, or substituted.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance

Our Lab Services partner adheres to stringent quality control and quality assurance processes, with a focus on:

  • Specimen accessioning
  • Handling and analysis
  • Routine review of lab personnel performance and procedure
  • Maintenance of equipment and results review and reporting
  • Meeting or exceeding standards and requirements set by the federal government (CLIA), and state government oversight entities


Contact Express Diagnostics for more information on Lab Services.