American Clinical Solutions Releases a New Confirmatory Test for Alcohol Exposure

Alcohol abuse is a serious public health issue in the United States. American Clinical Solutions routinely conducts alcohol tests in urine and oral fluid samples.

Sun City Center, FL, September 06, 2013 --( Alcohol abuse is a serious public health issue in the United States. Long-term alcohol use can have damaging consequences to the human body and predispose the users to multiple illnesses. The impact of alcohol use on pain management medication could be multifaceted. Studies have shown that the level of alcohol use has a positive correlation with illicit drug use and prescription drug abuse among individuals. Also, alcohol works on a GABAA-mediated neuroinhibitory pathway and could have an additive effect on other medications working on the same pathway. Finally, both acute and chronic use of alcohol could interfere with hepatic drug metabolism and affect drug efficacy as well as clearance. Monitoring a patient’s alcohol use, therefore, should become an integral part of pain management. American Clinical Solutions routinely conducts alcohol tests in urine and oral fluid samples. Alcohol in urine is detected based on NADH formation from an enzymatic reaction. Two reagents, NAD- and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, are mixed with the tested urine. The formation of NADH in the reaction mixture is measured by a spectrometer at the wavelength of 340 nm. Theoretically, only alcohol itself can generate NADH from the reaction. The time window for detecting urine alcohol levels is usually less than 12 hours after last exposure. It should be noted that diabetic patients could have abnormal results in urine alcohol test. High glucose levels in diabetic patients can lead to dysfunction of the human immune system, and diabetic patients are prone to many kinds of infections, especially those in the lower urinary tract. Normally suppressed in immune competent patients, candida and normal bacterial flora in the urinary tract can flourish in diabetic patients and cause infections. Glucose in urine among diabetic patients can be utilized and fermented by yeast and bacteria to form alcohol.

Although no studies have been conducted so far to determine how much alcohol can be formed in urine among diabetic patients, the possibility cannot be easily excluded. To help physicians determine the status of alcohol use in diabetic patients, American Clinical Solutions is going to offer a confirmatory test for alcohol exposure by using a state-of-the-art UPLC/MS method. The test is devised to measure the amounts of two alcohol metabolites, ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and ethyl sulfate (EtS), in urine. EtG and EtS, which are generated through hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferase and sulfotransferase - mediated metabolism, are highly specific biomarkers for systemic alcohol exposure. The cutoff values for both EtG and EtS are 500 ng/ml. The high cutoff levels applied are served to distinguish true alcohol consumption from accidental exposure such as using mouthwash fluid and from alcohol generated by urogenital bacteria and yeast. The detection windows for EtG and EtS in urine are about 30 hours. Heavy drinkers may exhibit even longer detection times (up to 80 hours). Finally, for physicians preferring oral fluid samples for drug monitoring, oral fluid EtG and EtS testing service is already available for service.

Cheng Fang, MD., PH D., DABT |
721 Cortaro Dr, Sun City Center, FL 33573 | T 866-762-8379 | F 813-634-4538

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Lauren Marshall