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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Editorial Board Member: Gillery, Philippe / Kazmierczak, Steven / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Whitfield, John B.

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Biochemical markers of alcoholism

Minna L. Hannuksela1 / Marja K. Liisanantti2 / Antti E.T. Nissinen3 / Markku J. Savolainen4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

2Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

3Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

4Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Corresponding author: Minna Hannuksela, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, 90014 Oulu, Finland Phone: +358-8-5376334, Fax: +358-8-5376318,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 45, Issue 8, Pages 953–961, ISSN (Online) 14374331, ISSN (Print) 14346621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.190, August 2007

Publication History

Received:
2007-02-16
Accepted:
2007-03-29
Published Online:
2007-08-09

Abstract

Alcohol and alcohol-related diseases have become a major cause of death in Western countries. The most sensitive and specific of the commonly used biomarkers of alcohol intake are carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), and the combination of γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and CDT. Other widely used laboratory markers are GGT, mean corpuscular volume of erythrocytes and the ratio of aspartate aminotransferase to alanine aminotransferase. Blood ethanol levels reveal recent alcohol use. However, more specific and sensitive biomarkers to improve the detection of excessive alcohol use at an early stage are needed. New biomarkers, not yet used in routine clinical work, include phosphatidylethanol, fatty acid ethyl esters, ethyl glucuronide, sialic acid, and acetaldehyde adducts.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:953–61.

Keywords: acetaldehyde adducts; alanine aminotransferase; alcohol abuse; alcoholism; aspartate aminotransferase; biomarkers; carbohydrate-deficient transferrin; ethanol; ethyl glucuronide; fatty acid ethyl esters; γ-glutamyltransferase; mean corpuscular volume of erythrocytes; phosphatidyl ethanol; sialic acid

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