Laboratory Testing to Support Pain Management: Methods and Case Studies


The focus of this presentation is on understanding the laboratory's role drug testing in the context of therapeutic drug monitoring, pain management, and drug abuse. Testing methods and principles including immunoassays and various mass spectrometry techniques are highlighted and comparisons are made between urine and serum regarding detection times and drug metabolite targets. In the context of several case studies, drug metabolism is reviewed and the broader concept of screening vs. confirmation testing is discussed.

Originally presented on October 13, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Frederick Strathmann, PhD

Frederick Strathmann, PhD

Medical Director, Toxicology Laboratory
ARUP Laboratories
Associate Scientific Director, Mass Spectrometry
ARUP Laboratories
Associate Director, ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology
ARUP Laboratories
Assistant Professor of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. Strathmann is an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received his MS and PhD in pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Rochester in New York, completed a clinical chemistry fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is ABCC board certified in clinical chemistry and toxicological chemistry.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Gain general knowledge of the technology available for drug testing along with each technology's benefits and limitations.
  • Understand how drug concentration is impacted by the testing matrix (or specimen type), biological clearance rates, and dose vs. collection time.
  • Understanding and interpreting lab results when they are inconsistent with expectations.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories