Information on Blood Alcohol Testing:
This UKAS 17025 accredited Blood Alcohol laboratory test is highly accurate and provides a reliable analysis of longer term alcohol intake.
The Blood test includes both a haematology and biochemistry report.
This should be used in combination with a Hair Alcohol Test to construct the most accurate picture of alcohol intake.
The haematology report (Full blood count) includes Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) analysis. This measures the volume of the red blood cells, to indicate a person’s alcohol intake.
Heavy and frequent drinking increases the size of these cells to outside of the normal range. Therefore, an increased volume of the red blood cells can indicate alcohol is being consumed excessively.
The biochemistry analysis includes the Liver Function Test (LFT) and Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) analysis.
The LFT measures various enzymes in the blood that are produced by the liver. Long term alcohol intake causes damage and inflammation of the liver, causing an abnormal result. The test will look for the level of certain makers associated with liver damage, including Total Protein, Albumin, and Globulin.
If the level of a marker is above or below the normal range, this can indicate the liver is not functioning correctly.
CDT is widely recognised as a bio-marker of chronic alcohol consumption. Transferrin is produced in the liver. When a person is drinking alcohol at a chronic level, carbohydrates are removed from the transferrin molecule.
This means when there is a high percentage of transferrin with reduced amounts of carbohydrates (CDT), it can indicate the sample donor is abusing alcohol.
The CDT analysis covers a period of approximately 2 weeks, whereas an abnormal LFT result is caused by sustained excessive drinking.
When used in combination with a Hair test, which covers up to a 6-month period, the most accurate long-term overview of a person’s alcohol use can be provided.
Example of CDT Interpretation:
CDT <1.6% – No excess alcohol intake
CDT 1.6 – 1.9% – Intake may be high but not necessarily in the range of dependence
CDT >2.0% – Excess alcohol intake
Follow the useful links below for more information about the Blood Alcohol Test.