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Forensic Sci Int. 1990 Apr;45(3):217-24.

Excretion of alcohol in urine and diuresis in healthy men in relation to their age, the dose administered and the time after drinking.

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Department of Alcohol Toxicology, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


Healthy male volunteers drank neat whisky in amounts corresponding to 0.51, 0.68, or 0.85 g ethanol/kg body weight in 15-25 min after an overnight (10 h) fast. Urine was collected immediately before drinking and then at 60 min intervals for 7-8 h after intake. The volumes of urine voided were measured and the concentrations of alcohol (UAC) were determined by an enzymatic method. Ethanol-induced diuresis showed large inter-subject variations. The flow of urine was maximum between 60 and 120 min post-drinking when the median rates of production were 117 ml/h (range 55-335), 113 ml/h (range 41-453) and 373 ml/h (range 215-485) for 0.51, 0.68, and 0.85 g ethanol/kg respectively. The output of urine returned to normal (30-60 ml/h) after the peak UAC had passed despite an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The average amount of alcohol excreted in urine was 0.29 g (S.D. 0.119), 0.44 g (S.D. 0.246), and 1.00 g (S.D. 0.427) after the consumption of 0.51, 0.68 and 0.85 g ethanol/kg respectively. Neither peak diuresis nor the amount of alcohol excreted depended on a subject's age between 20 and 60 years. This work shows that after drinking a moderate dose of alcohol, only 0.7-1.5% of the amount consumed is excreted unchanged in urine. Ethanol-induced diuresis is most pronounced for the first 1-2 h after drinking (rising BAC). The production of urine returns to normal during the post-absorptive state.

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