Formation of Phosphatidylethanol and Its Subsequent Elimination During an Extensive Drinking Experiment Over 5 Days
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 36, Issue 9, pages 1507–1511, September 2012
How to Cite
Gnann, H., Weinmann, W. and Thierauf, A. (2012), Formation of Phosphatidylethanol and Its Subsequent Elimination During an Extensive Drinking Experiment Over 5 Days. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36: 1507–1511. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01768.x
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2011
- Bund gegen Alkohol
- Drogen im Straßenverkehr e.V.
- Alcohol Misuse;
- Phosphatidylethanol Formation;
- Biomarker for Alcohol Abuse
For almost 30 years, phosphatidylethanol (PEth) has been known as a direct marker of alcohol consumption. This marker stands for consumption in high amounts and for a longer time period, but it has been also detected after 1 high single intake of ethanol (EtOH). The aim of this study was to obtain further information about the formation and elimination of PEth 16:0/18:1 by simulating extensive drinking.
After 3 weeks of alcohol abstinence, 11 test persons drank an amount of EtOH leading to an estimated blood ethanol concentration of 1 g/kg on each of 5 successive days. After the drinking episode, they stayed abstinent for 16 days with regular blood sampling. PEth 16:0/18:1 analysis was performed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (high-performance liquid chromatography 1100 system and QTrap 2000 triple quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer. Values of blood alcohol were obtained using a standardized method with headspace gas chromatography flame ionization detector.
Maximum measured concentrations of EtOH were 0.99 to 1.83 g/kg (mean 1.32 g/kg). These values were reached 1 to 3 hours after the start of drinking (mean 1.9 hours). For comparison, 10 of 11 volunteers had detectable PEth 16:0/18:1 values 1 hour after the start of drinking, ranging from 45 to 138 ng/ml PEth 16:0/18:1. Over the following days, concentrations of PEth 16:0/18:1 increased continuously and reached the maximum concentrations of 74 to 237 ng/ml between days 3 and 6.
This drinking experiment led to measurable PEth concentrations. However, PEth 16:0/18:1 concentrations stayed rather low compared with those of alcohol abusers from previous studies.