Frontline ® immunochromatographic device for on-site urine testing of amphetamines: laboratory validation using authentic specimens

Ann Clin Biochem 2000;37:199-204
© 2000 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Original Articles

O Beck,
M Kraft,
M R Moeller,
B L Smith,
S Schneider and
R Wennig

We evaluated a new test device for amphetamines and methamphetamines (Frontline ®, cut-off limit 300 ng/mL) using authentic clinicaland forensic specimens. The device is based on immunochromatographyand is dipped into urine and read visually by comparison witha colour scale after a few minutes. A total of 658 specimenswere tested by comparing results of the screening procedurewith established immunoassays. Discordant results were furtherinvestigated by gas chromatography- mass spectrometry or gaschromatography (with flame ionization detector). The Frontlinedevice had a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 98%. Whenspecimens were classified by urine amphetamine concentration,close agreement was obtained at concentrations below 150 ng/mLand above 1000 ng/mL. A small number of specimens with amphetamineconcentrations between 300 and 1000 ng/mL tested negative inthe Frontline test. This finding could to some extent be explainedby the enantioselectivity of the antibodies in the Frontlinetest to d-amphetamine. We conclude that the performance of theFrontline test device for amphetamines is adequate for presumptiveclinical and forensic screening.

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