Ethyl glucuronide concentrations in hair : a controlled alcohol-dosing study in healthy volunteersEthyl glucuronide concentrations in hair : a controlled alcohol-dosing study in healthy volunteers
van Nuijs, Alexander L.N.
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Laboratory Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics (LEMP)
Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI)
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. - Berlin, 2002, currens
408(2016):8, p. 2019-2025
University of Antwerp
Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a minor phase II metabolite of alcohol that accumulates in hair. It has been established as a sensitive marker to assess the retrospective consumption of alcohol over recent months using a cut-off of a parts per thousand yen7 pg/mg hair to assess repeated alcohol consumption. The primary aim was to assess whether amounts of alcohol consumed correlated with EtG concentrations in hair. Additionally, we investigated whether the current applied cut-off value of 7 pg/mg hair was adequate to assess the regular consumption of low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol. A prospective controlled alcohol-dosing study in 30 healthy individuals matched on age and gender. Individuals were instructed to drink no alcohol (N = 10), 100 g alcohol per week (N = 10) or 150 g alcohol per week (N = 10) for 12 consecutive weeks, before and after which hair was collected. Throughout the study, compliance to daily alcohol consumption was assessed by analyzing urine EtG three times weekly. Participants in the non-drinking group had median EtG concentrations of 0.5 pg/mg hair (interquartile range (IQR) 1.7 pg/mg; range < 0.21-4.5 pg/mg). Participants consuming 100 and 150 g alcohol per week showed median EtG concentrations of 5.6 pg/mg hair (IQR 4.7 pg/mg; range 2.0-9.8 pg/mg) and 11.3 pg/mg hair (IQR 5.0 pg/mg; range 7.7-38.9 pg/mg), respectively. Hair EtG concentrations between the three study groups differed significantly from one another (p < 0.001). Hair EtG concentrations can be used to differentiate between repeated (low-to-moderate) amounts of alcohol consumed over a long time period. For the assessment of repeated alcohol use, we propose that the current cut-off of 7 pg/mg could be re-evaluated.