Diabetic Patients Test Positive for Ethanol

Synthesis of Ethanol by bacteria in urine may cause false identification of alcohol consumption. Scientific studies have demonstrated ethanol production from either bacteria added to urine containing glucose or urine containing yeast and glucose.

The risk of glucose in the urine of a diabetic patient is high.  Microbial fermentation of the glucose to produce ethanol is likely.  Bacterial contamination of the urine because of a urinary tract infection can occur.  Thus, the likelihood of a positive Ethanol result in the urine of an uncontrolled diabetic patient is possible.

More more information or questions concerning alcohol testing, contact Ammon Analytical Laboratory.

908-862-4404

Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) New Developments and Concerns

Ethyl glucuronide, EtG,  is a biomarker for recent alcohol use.  The media has reported that individuals have been accused of abusing alcohol because of a positive EtG test result.  Only to find out later that the individual was accidentally exposed to alcohol in a cleaning agent or hand cream.  Similar to other drug test results, such as opiates and cannabinoids,  if the cutoff is too low, a positive due to accidental exposure is difficult to rule out.

A number of years ago the cannabinoids test cutoff was 20 ng/mL to identify marijuana abuse.  A number of instances were reported in the scientific literature of positives due to passive inhalation.  The drug testing community responded by raising the cutoff levels to 50 ng/mL in order  to rule out wrongly accusing an individual of marijuana abuse.  Similarly,  the opiate test cutoff was 300 ng/mL to identify opiates abuse.  When it was identified that poppy seed containing foods might cause a positive opiates drug test,  agencies such as the Department of Defense reacted by raising the cutoff to 2,000 ng/mL.  Thus, individuals would not be wrongly accused of opiates abuse.

EtG is a biomarker of alcohol ingestion, but definitive data about a reliable cutoff  to differentiate between alcohol abuse and accidental exposure is still under investigation.

Information in the scientific literature has reported that levels greater than 500 ng/mL are extremely unlikely to be caused by accidental exposure to alcohol.  Hearsay information describes an individual who only used a hand sanitizer and tested positive for urinary EtG  at a level of about 750 ng/mL.

Because of the concerns about accidental exposure to alcohol containing products,   Ammon Analytical Laboratory has adopted a prudent approach to testing for urinary EtG.

The screening cutoff for EtG is 500 ng/mL.  All positive EtG results are confirmed by an alternate scientific method, mass spectrometry.  Thus,  Ammon Analytical Laboratory provides a reliable means of identifying urinary  EtG.

Similar to other laboratory tests a positive EtG result should be used as a sign.  In this case a sign of alcoholic beverage consumption.  Upon reporting the result to a physician further evaluation of the donor is important.

Post Written by: Jerry Meenan

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