Contribution of Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin to Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase in Evaluating Progress of Patients in Treatment For Alcoholism

Authors

  • John P. Allen,

    Corresponding author
    1. U. S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (J.PA.). Rockville, Maryland; Pharmacia & UpJohn Diagnostics, A.B. (P.S.), Alcohol Related Diseases, Uppsala, Sweden; and the Medical University of South Carolina (R.A.). Columbia, South Carolina.
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  • Pekka Sillamaukee,

    1. U. S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (J.PA.). Rockville, Maryland; Pharmacia & UpJohn Diagnostics, A.B. (P.S.), Alcohol Related Diseases, Uppsala, Sweden; and the Medical University of South Carolina (R.A.). Columbia, South Carolina.
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  • Raymond Anton

    1. U. S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (J.PA.). Rockville, Maryland; Pharmacia & UpJohn Diagnostics, A.B. (P.S.), Alcohol Related Diseases, Uppsala, Sweden; and the Medical University of South Carolina (R.A.). Columbia, South Carolina.
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  • The authors thank Dr. Joanne Fertig, Dr. Raye Litten, and Ms. Veronica Wilson of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as Dr. Jim Roberts of the Medical University of South Carolina, for their assistance in developing this article. Dr. Fertig performed statistical analyses that served as the basis of this report and conceptualized key research issues. Dr. Litten assisted with the review of previous literature. Ms. Wilson typed the manuscript and formatted the tables. Dr. Roberts developed Table 1 based on relevant analyses of the data base for Project MATCH.

Reprints requests: John Allen, M.D., National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, 6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20892.

Abstract

Eight previous investigations have suggested that conjoint consideration of findings on tests for gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) substantially enhances sensitivity of screening for alcohol problems while minimally diminishing specificity. Using results from a large clinical trial, the current study evaluated the two tests singly and in combination as measures of three clinically important treatment outcome criteria: any drinking, at least one day of heavy drinking, and at least three consecutive days of heavy drinking during the past month. When scored by quartile, CDT is slightly better at screening for alcohol problems in males than GGT. However, CDT seems less accurate in females than GGT. Use of the two tests in consort moderately improves the individual test accuracy in predicting drinking status for both genders.

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