Frequently Asked Questions

General Inquiry

What does Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates do?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates provides health care professionals with pharmacogenetic testing, clinical tools, scientific data, and education helping to personalize treatment plans to improve clinical outcomes and patient safety.

What is Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates’ mission statement?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates provides leading-edge medical laboratory tests and services. Our products and services benefit patients, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, life insurance companies, and employers. Whether the needs are large or small, routine or complex, physicians and patients can depend on us for access to a full range of the highest quality diagnostic testing.

Where is Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates located?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates is located in Fort Indio, California. (See Contact page.)

How do I access test results for my patients?

Results can be accessed through your physician portal or via fax. (See Contact page.)

Who should I contact if I am having trouble with the website?

We want to make sure you can find what you need on If you are experiencing general problems with the website, please contact our website support.

Laboratory Services

What types of tests does Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates perform?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates specializes in toxicology drug testing through urine and oral fluid using state-of-the-art analyzers for screening and confirmation.

What happens once the sample is sent to the lab?

The lab will run a series of tests to identify the levels of both prescribed and non-prescribed medication in your system. Your health care provider has selected Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates for testing your sample and may use these test results to customize your treatment plan.

What kind of expertise do you have on staff that I can ask for help or interpretation of results?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates employs a highly skilled team of scientists available for testing support and consultation. Please contact us with your questions (See Contact page).

What are typical turnaround times for urine and oral fluid tests?

Both urine and oral fluid tests are usually turned around within 48-72 hours.

Are my test results kept private?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates maintains patient privacy in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. We share your results with the requesting healthcare provider only.

Urine Drug Testing (UDT)

Why is urine testing the most frequently used method for drug testing?

Urine drug testing is the most flexible and customizable testing option. With hundreds of detectable drug combinations, order codes and cut off levels, there is a urine test panel for almost any testing reason.

What drugs are detected with a urine test?

Visit our Services page to view a list of the drugs we test for.

What information must be on a specimen label so it will not be rejected?

We require the patient’s first and last name as well as date of birth. We also require the date and time of the specimen collection.

Why can’t the specimen be tested if the cup broke or leaked during transit?

Sample integrity is critical to valid results and the safety of clinical laboratory services. A broken transport cup could allow contamination of the specimen; therefore if the cup appears to have been tampered with or was damaged in transit, the lab will not test the sample because we have to assume it may have been tampered with.

Do you store patient specimens for later testing/retesting if needed?

Yes. Specimens are retained for 14 days after testing is completed.

Are all opiates the same? Will all opiates yield a positive result on the preliminary screen?

Although opiates have similar mechanisms of action, they have varying designs. Discerning which opiate drug is present can thus be challenging. Our standard opiates screening may not distinguish between different varieties, but presence of opiates in initial testing can precipitate identifying individual drugs through additional evaluation.

What does a negative test result mean? Did the donor have anything present in their sample at all?

A negative result means there was no drug detected above the cutoff threshold for the drug of interest in the sample.

Why were prescribed drugs not detected in the drug test?

If drugs are not detected in the drug test, those drugs were not present in the urine sample at levels above the cutoff for the instrumentation.

How long can drugs be detected after use/exposure?

Many drugs stay in the system from 2 to 4 days, although chronic use can allow for drugs to remain in the system for 4 weeks or longer.

Oral Fluid Testing

What is Oral Fluid Drug Testing?

Oral fluid testing analyzes a saliva sample for drugs and their metabolites. An absorbent collection device is placed in the mouth and the saliva collected is screened for drugs.

What drugs can Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates test for with oral fluid?

Visit our Services page to see a list of drugs we test for.

How long are oral fluids viable for testing?

Typically, the window of detection in oral fluid is 24-48 hours.

Can oral fluid be affected by cross-reacting substances such as over-the-counter medications?

Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) analysis reduces the likelihood of potential cross-reacting substances.

What is the turnaround time for tests?

Samples received by Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates will report out within 2-5 business days.

How long are excess oral fluid samples and test reports saved?

Sonoran Desert Pathology Associates stores positive oral fluid specimens for 30 days.

What sets our technology apart from other labs?

> Cutting-edge technology

> Exceptional customer service

> Strong relationships between

physicians and staff

> Extensive test menu

> Rapid turnaround time

Extensive technology solutions

A wide range of reporting and tracking solutions to fit your organization.

Comprehensive testing options

State-of-the-art technology, automated computer systems, and skilled laboratory staff ensure accurate analysis.

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