Markers of Alcoholism
German Version

It has to be differentiated between markers for an existing chronic consumption of alcohol (state markers) and markers for an early recognition of potentially endangered persons (trait markers). To the first group belong in particular the GGT, the transaminases GOT (ASAT) and GPT (ALAT), see liver enzymes, as well as the MCV findings and recently the CDT.

With exception of CDT these markers are nonspecific, which does not only mean increased with an existing alcohol abuse. Also illnesses could result in increased findings to the liver enzymes. Even if with longer times of alcoholic abstinence no standard values are reached, advice of an internist should be taken, particularly in cases when alkolisme suspicion cannot be eliminated.

The different standard ranges reported can confuse, which are caused by change of the measuring temperature. Older tests are based on 25 degrees, while newer tests are co-ordinated increasingly on the internationally usual temperature of 37 degrees, their standard ranges by the IFCC (international Federation OF Clinical Chemistry) are fixed.

A further method for the long-term evaluation of the consumption of alcohol behavior represents the determination of the fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) in the hair, a specific ethanol metabolite (see hair analysis), which in particular plays a special role during the revision of the driving licence, especially in cases of increased liver values for non-alcohol-conditioned reasons. Alternatively, also ethylglucuronide determination in hair could be used as a long time marker.

Early recognition markers (trait markers) are so far not in the clinical use. As leavable indicators serve monoaminooxidase, the P-300-amplitude in the EEG as well as ADH and ALDH Genotypes.

Still for the sake of completeness mentioned are the association markers, which permits conclusions on alcohol problems, which are however less sensitive and specific from the amassment of certain genetic and serologic characteristics.

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Last Update: 09/14/2011 - IMPRINT - FAQ