Ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate
Alcohol misuse is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although clinical history, examination, and the use of self-report questionnaires may identify subjects with harmful patterns of alcohol use, denial or under-reporting of alcohol intake is common. Existing biomarkers for detecting alcohol misuse include measurement of blood or urine ethanol for acute alcohol consumption, and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin and gamma-glutamyl transferase for chronic alcohol misuse. There is a need for a biomarker that can detect excessive alcohol consumption in the timeframe between 1 day and several weeks. Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a direct metabolite of ethanol detectable in urine for up to 90h and longer in hair. Because EtG has high specificity for excess alcohol intake, it has great potential for use in detecting "binge" drinking. Using urine or hair, this noninvasive marker has a role in a variety of clinical and forensic settings.