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Monitoring of alcohol markers by capillary electrophoresis


Correspondence: Professor Wolfgang Thormann, Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, Institute for Infectious Diseases, Murtenstrasse 35, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland


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Work dealing with the monitoring of alcohol markers by CE performed during the past two decades led to the development of assays for carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), ethyl sulfate, ethyl glucuronide, and phosphatidylethanol in body fluids and first attempts for the detection of the urinary 5-hydroxytryptophol/5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid ratio and stable hemoglobin acetaldehyde adducts. Most notably are assays for CDT that have been commercialized and are being used in many laboratories under routine conditions. This paper provides insight into the development, specifications, and use of the currently known CE-based assays suitable to detect alcohol markers. The achievements reached so far indicate that CE is an attractive technology for monitoring alcohol markers. This is particularly seen with the CDT assays that do not require an elaborate sample pretreatment and thus could be fully automated for high-throughput analyses on multicapillary instruments.