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Ethyl Glucuronide for Detecting Alcohol Lapses in Patients With an Alcohol Use Disorder

Lahmek, Pierre MD; Michel, Laurent PhD; Diviné, Catherine MD; Meunier, Nadine MD; Pham, Béatrice MD; Cassereau, Catherine MD; Aussel, Christian MD; Aubin, Henri-Jean PhD

Journal of Addiction Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3182249b93
Original Research

Urine ethyl glucuronide (EtG) was screened in 75 patients during a hospital-based treatment for an alcohol use disorder. During follow-up, EtG was detected in 35 (14.6%) of the 239 urine samples. Positive screens were found in 22 patients (29%), of whom nine were outpatients (39.1% of all outpatients) and 13 inpatients (25.0% of all inpatients). Of the 22 patients with positive EtG, five (22%) also gave a positive breath alcohol test and 10 (45.5%) reported recent alcohol consumption; 12 (54.5%) gave a negative breath alcohol test and declared no alcohol lapse. Ethyl glucuronide has been found useful in detecting covered lapses.

Author Information

From the Centre de traitement des addictions (PL, LM, NM, BP, H-J A) and Laboratoire de biologie (CC, CA), Limeil-Brévannes cedex, France; Service de pharmacie (CD), Groupe Hospitalier Albert Chenevier—Henri Mondor, Créteil cedex, France; and Centre de traitement des addictions (H-J A), Hôpital Paul Brousse University Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Pierre Lahmek, MD, Centre de traitement des addictions, Hôpital Emile Roux 1 Avenue de Verdun 94450 Limeil-Brévannes cedex, France. E-mail:

Received March 05, 2010

Accepted May 06, 2011

© 2012 American Society of Addiction Medicine