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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

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 42, Issue 1


Blood alcohol testing: comparison of the performance obtained with the different methods used in the Belgian external quality assessment schemes

Nicole Devleeschouwer / Jean Claude Libeer / Frank K. Martens / Hugo Neels / Marc Van Damme / Alain Verstraete / Marc Deveaux / Pierre E. Wallemacq
Published Online: 2005-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2004.011


This study describes the performance of the different methods used for blood alcohol analysis by the Belgian laboratories participating in the external quality assessment scheme. The best performance was achieved by the gas chromatography (GC) and the enzymatic methods. The enzymatic methods are easier to use but more apparatus-dependent, whereas GC methods display higher precision, especially at concentrations near the critical legal limit of 0.5 g/l. The study highlights the need to introduce a methodology other than the chemical oxidation-based method of Casier, the sole legal method for forensic analyses in drinking-driving cases in Belgium. This method with poor intra-laboratory, inter-laboratory and linearity performances has definitely become obsolete. Even though GC clearly appears as the method of choice, mainly due to its higher specificity, the present study also shows the need for practical guidelines to improve the quality of GC alcohol analyses used in Belgium.

About the article

Published Online: 2005-06-01

Published in Print: 2004-02-16

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 57–61, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2004.011.

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