Clinical usefulness of a urine dipstick to detect ethyl glucuronide (EtG): A quantitative clinical study in healthy young female volunteers

Nete Lundager Klokker Rausgaard*, Pernille Ravn, Inge Olga Ibsen, Palle Bach Nielsen Fruekilde, Ellen Aagaard Nohr, Per Damkier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The metabolite of ethanol, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), reflects alcohol intake longer than ethanol and is used as a biomarker in clinical settings to detect alcohol use. We aimed to assess the clinical usefulness in a low-to-moderate alcohol intake setting and validate a new urine EtG dipstick. A three-way, open, cross-over trial was conducted. Data were collected from January to June 2019. Among 12 healthy female volunteers, we quantified urine EtG and used a dipstick following intake of either one, two or four units of alcohol. Main outcomes were concentrations of EtG in urine and serum, and creatinine and ethanol in serum. EtG in urine was determined dichotomously by dipsticks at two different thresholds and by mass spectrometry used as gold standard. EtG in urine was quantifiable up to 24 hours after alcohol intake. In some individual cases, EtG was quantifiable up to 72 hours at low concentrations. The dipstick detected EtG in urine up to 24 hours. At thresholds of 1000 and 1500 ng/mL, the dipsticks had a specificity of 100% (both), while sensitivity was 84% and 69%, respectively. The sensitivity of the dipsticks was insufficient to support a screening purpose in this setting of low-to-moderate alcohol intake.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesBasic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
ISSN1742-7835
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12. Jan 2021

Keywords

  • alcohol biomarkers
  • alcohol use disorders
  • ethyl glucuronide
  • urine dipstick
  • urine drug testing

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