Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 9, 2007

Biochemical markers of alcoholism

Minna L. Hannuksela, Marja K. Liisanantti, Antti E.T. Nissinen and Markku J. Savolainen
From the journal


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.

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,

Received: 2007-2-16
Accepted: 2007-3-29
Published Online: 2007-08-09
Published in Print: 2007-08-01

©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

Scroll Up Arrow