PCPU - Clinical: Phencyclidine Confirmation, Urine

Test Catalog

Test Name

Test ID: PCPU    
Phencyclidine Confirmation, Urine

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detection of drug abuse involving phencyclidine (angel dust or angel hair)

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.


Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a drug of abuse. This compound affects diverse neural pathways and interacts with cholinergic, adrenergic, GABA-secreting, serotoninergic, opiate neuronal receptors, and gamma receptors. It has analgesic, anesthetic, and stimulatory effects, giving bizarre behavior, ranging from depression through catatonia, euphoria, violent rage, and hallucinations. Most fatalities result from its hypertensive effect.


PCP is excreted in the urine.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.


Cutoff concentrations

Phencyclidine by GC-MS: <10 ng/mL

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

The presence of phencyclidine (PCP) in urine at concentrations >10 ng/mL is a strong indicator that the patient has used PCP.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Urine phencyclidine (PCP) may be undetectable at alkaline pH.


For chain-of-custody information, see PCPX / Phencyclidine Confirmation, Chain of Custody, Urine.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Baselt RC, Cravey RH: Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man. Third edition. Chicago, Year Book Medical Publishers, 1989

2. Schuster DI, Arnold FJ, Murphy RB: Purification, pharmacological characterization and photoaffinity labeling of sigma receptors from rat and bovine brain. Brain Res 1995;670:14-28

3. Bayorh MA, Zokowska-Grojec A, Palkovits M, Kopin IJ: Effect of phencyclidine (PCP) on blood pressure and catecholamine levels in discrete brain nuclei. Brain Res 1984;321:315-318