Metrolab Blog

Measuring alcohol biomarkers from urine – a splitting headache!

Ethanol metabolites are often monitored for clinical research and forensic purposes. These programs often require a robust, non-invasive, and simple testing protocol to determine abstinence. Monitoring blood alcohol content is not suitable in many cases as it requires an invasive sampling technique and the half-life of ethanol and its major metabolites are short. This means that by the time a sample is taken for testing, the ethanol and major metabolites have already been excreted. Therefore, there has been a growing interest in monitoring of minor metabolites such as ethyl sulfate (EtS) and ethyl glucuronide (EtG) as they are better biomarkers for recent exposure to ethanol, even a few days after the ethanol was consumed.

Goals of this application note:

  • To overcome a significant matrix effect causing peak splitting of ethyl sulfate and the labeled internal standard. This issue was present in six individual sources and varied in severity when using competitor biphenyl column chemistry.
  • To demonstrate the use of the Thermo Scientific™ Hypersil GOLD™ VANQUISH™ aQ phase in place of the biphenyl phase for the determination of EtS and EtG.
  • To assess the linearity and accuracy and precision of the developed assay on the revised column chemistry.

Download the full article here.