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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: March 2012 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - p 35–38
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.

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