Written by Amir Ghaderi, Hamid Reza Banafshe, Soroor Khodabandehlo, Fateme Mehrzad, Omid Mehrpour, Reza Afshari
Parent Category: Year 2017, Volume 9
Category: Volume 9, Issue 4, April 2017
Background: Thallium (Tl), lead and steroid exposures were reported as a result of street drug consumption such as heroin and cocaine.
Objective: This study aimed to compare the values of qualitative and quantitative assays for detecting Tl as an adulterant in opioid-like compound drug users.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted throughout a specified time bracket ranging from May 2015 to November 2015 in Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad, Iran. In general, urine thallium samples for 100 opioid overdosed subjects with a history of chronic opioid use and 50 non-drug users were studied. Qualitative 24 hours-urinary-thallium-level (QL) and quantitative 24 hours-urinary-thallium-level (QT) were conducted in both groups. Independent-samples t-test and Spearman’s Coefficient were applied for analytical purposes. SPSS software 16 was used to conduct statistical analyses with P values less than 0.05 regarded as significant.
Results: A total of 150 cases were studied. Raw opium users accounted for 66% of the cases followed by mixed (28%) and heroin users (6%). Mean (SD) QT level for QL was 26.8 (1) μg/L, while it was 2.3 μg/L (0.4 μg/L) for negative QL, which was far below QL positive cases (p=0.002). The qualitative test showed more accuracy at higher quantitative levels. In all cases, qualitative test was fully sensitive (100%), highly specific (89%) with a positive likelihood ratio (PLR) of 9.1 and a negative likelihood ratio (NLR) of 0.
Conclusion: These results suggest that qualitative assays could be used with confidence in assessing Tl exposure in drug users. Physicians may easily and confidently use Tl qualitative tests in rehabilitation centers, where toxicology laboratories may not be available.
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Keywords: Drug user, Thallium, Quantitative assay, Qualitative assay
Volume 13, Issue 1, January-March 2021
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 as an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and the dramatic need of urgent medicine or vaccine, has rapidly brought new hypotheses for pathophysiology and potential medicinal agents to the fore. It is crucial that the research community provide a way to publish this research in a timely manner.
To contribute to this important public health discussion, the Electronic Physician Journal is excited to announce a fast-track procedure to help researchers publish their articles on COVID-19 related subjects that fall under the broad definition of public health, internal medicine, and pharmacology. We are especially welcome to all hypotheses about the pathological basis of the COVID-19 infection and the possible characteristics of potential medicine and vaccine. Submit your manuscript here
The most recent editorial (June 2020)
Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic and the Morocco’s success story.
An editorial by Dr. Benksim Abdelhafid (Morocco)
The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) is to be held on June 2-5, 2019 in Hong Kong.
The WCRI is the largest and most significant international conference on research integrity. Since the first conference in Lisbon in 2007, it has given researchers, teachers, funding agencies, government officials, journal editors, senior administrators, and research students opportunities to share experiences and to discuss and promote integrity in research. Read more:
TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowships
Call for applications
Deadline for submission: 7 March 2019, 16:00 (GMT)
TDR provides fellowships for early- to mid-career researchers and clinical trial staff (e.g. clinicians, pharmacists, medical statisticians, data managers, other health researchers) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to learn how to conduct clinical trials. Read more:
Meta-Analysis Workshops in New York, USA, and London, UK, in April and May 2019
Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn how to perform and report a Meta-analysis correctly. Two Meta-analysis workshops are organized in April and May 2019 by Dr. Michael Borenstein in New York, USA (April 08-10, 2019) and London, UK (May 27-29).
About the Instructor
Dr. Michael Borenstein, one of the authors of Introduction to Meta-Analysis, is widely recognized for his ability to make statistical concepts accessible to researchers as well as to statisticians. He has lectured widely on meta-analysis, including at the NIH, CDC, and FDA. Read more: