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Addict Biol. 2001 Jul;6(3):205-212.

Ethyl glucuronide-a biological marker for recent alcohol consumption.

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Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.


Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a non-volatile, water-soluble metabolite of ethanol, with a high storage stability. It can be detected in body fluids, tissues, sweat and hair for an extended time period after the elimination of ethanol from the body. EtG closes the gap between short-term markers for alcohol consumption such as ethanol or methanol and long-term markers for alcohol misuse such as GGT, MCV and CDT. Due to its specific time-frame of detection and its high sensitivity and specificity, EtG is a promising marker for alcohol consumption and for relapse control that enables the therapist to intervene at an early stage of relapsing behaviour. The aim of this review is to give an overview of analytical techniques for the detection of EtG, its clinical use and remaining questions.


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