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What is Ethylglucuronide and EtG Testing

Views:1     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-02-14      Origin:Wikipedia; Leichter Law Firm; drugtestingnetwork

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a metabolite of ethanol which is formed in the body by glucuronidation following exposure to ethanol, usually from drinking alcoholic beverages. It is used as a biomarker to test for ethanol use and to monitor alcohol abstinence in situations where drinking is prohibited, such as by the military, in alcohol treatment programs, in professional monitoring programs (health professionals, attorneys, airline pilots in recovery from addictions), in schools, liver transplant clinics, or in recovering alcoholic patients. In addition to its use to monitor abstinence and detect drinking, EtG also has potential for monitoring the amount of alcohol use over time because it can be detected in hair and nails, though the effectiveness of this has not yet been proven.


What is EtG testing?

EtG testing is typically used to evaluate and monitor whether an individual is abstaining from the consumption of alcohol.

EtG testing, typically via a urine sample, has become increasingly prevalent in the United States following its initial approval and use in Europe especially by agencies concerned with monitoring an individual for any relapse or return to active drinking. Many favor EtG sampling because it is a “direct” test for alcohol consumption in contrast to older, more traditional tests like Gamma Glutamyl Transferase or Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin which look for indirect signs of alcohol use such as liver damage. Further, while older tests generally only become positive following heavy alcohol use, EtG can be present in the urine after only a single drink. Moreover, EtG remains in the body and is detectable in urine three to five days after consumption.


How about EtG testing?

EtG testing has several serious short-comings that limit its viability as an stand-alone objective marker of recent alcohol consumption and relapse. In the area of medical testing, a test is characterized by two qualities: sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity measures the ability of the test to correctly identify those individuals who do have the condition of interest, here relapse, while specificity measures the ability of the test to correctly identify those persons who do not havethe condition of interest. EtG testing has a high sensitivity, that is it has a high probability of correctly identifying as positive an individual who has recently relapsed. However, it also has a low specificity, that is it has a high probability of showing as positive a person who has not recently consumed alcoholic beverages. For example, research has shown that use of everyday items such as bug spray, mouth wash, various over-the-counter medicines, and hand sanitizer can produce positive results. Additionally, without further research, testing facilities have been unable to arrive at a consensus on the level of EtG that should be considered positive for a relapse. The high level of false positives seriously undercuts its status as a viable test for relapse and can easily lend itself to abuse by monitoring agencies such as the Texas Medical Board or the Texas Board of Nursing (Formerly known as the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners).


What’s the benefits of Using EtG testing?

Key Benefits of Using EtG test Include:      

1. Detects recent usage more accurately and for a longer period of time than standard testing (80 hours)

2. Ideal for zero tolerance and abstinence situations

3. Strong indicator of alcohol ingestion within the previous 3 to 4 days

4. EtG is only evident when alcohol is consumed and is not produced as a result of fermentation

5. Allows monitoring in alcohol treatment programs

6. Acts as an early warning system to detect trends towards relapse

7. Tests are performed by LC/MS/MS on state of the art equipment for accuracy and reliability

8. Thirty-six hour turnaround time from receipt of specimen

9. EtG may be run on urine specimens in conjunction with other drug testing panels 

 

Reference Source:Wikipedia; Leichter Law Firm; drugtestingnetwork

Reference Websites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_glucuronide; 

https://www.txmedicallicensinglaw.com/2007/07/articles/f-a-qs/what-is-ethylglucuronide-etg-testing/;

https://drugtestingnetwork.com/alcohol-testing 

 


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