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Ther Drug Monit. 2002 Oct;24(5):645-51.

Direct quantification of ethyl glucuronide in clinical urine samples by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Alcohol Laboratory, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Ethyl glucuronide is a minor metabolite of ethanol, and its presence in urine can be used as a laboratory test to detect recent alcohol intake, even for some time after the ethanol is no longer measurable. A simple analytical procedure was developed based on direct injection of urine diluted with a deuterated internal standard into an electrospray liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometric (LC-MS) system. A novel LC system using a porous graphite column (Hypercarb) enabled an isocratic elution with retention times of 5-6 minutes. The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 2-12%, and the measuring range was 0.1-1,500 mg/L (0.45-6,750 micromol/L). Ethyl glucuronide was found to be stable in urine for more than 4 days at room temperature, and no artifactual formation was observed on storage of urine samples fortified with 1% ethanol. Ethyl glucuronide was not detected in urine samples collected after abstinence from alcohol. Intake of a very low amount (7 g) of ethanol produced ethyl glucuronide values up to 8.4 mg/L after 4 hours and was still detectable at 6 hours. When the method was applied for routine screening of 252 clinical urine samples (range, 0-1,240 mg/L), it fulfilled the need for a simple and reliable assay to be used in the evaluation of urinary ethyl glucuronide as a routine test of recent alcohol intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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