Journal Article

The Reliability of Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE) as Biological Markers for the Diagnosis of Alcohol Abuse

Nadia De Giovanni, Giuseppe Donadio and Marcello Chiarotti

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 31, issue 2, pages 93-97
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online March 2007 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/31.2.93
The Reliability of Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE) as Biological Markers for the Diagnosis of Alcohol Abuse

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The search for biochemical markers for the objective diagnosis of alcoholism has been a topic of research because of the important clinical and forensic implications. In the last few years, two minor ethanol metabolites (ethylglucuronide and fatty acid ethyl esters) have been mainly investigated in hair samples for their ability to be incorporated into this biological matrix. The aim of this study was to experience the detection of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) in the hair of alcoholics, social drinkers, and teetotallers in order to give a contribution to the existing literature. Hair samples from 12 alcoholics, 10 social drinkers, and 10 teetotallers were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique after headspace solid-phase microextraction with deuterated internal standards. A slight overlap in FAEE concentration between the three groups was found, probably because of external contamination. This observation suggests particular attention to the interpretation of the results. Nevertheless, the results obtained show the usefulness of these biochemical markers in the diagnosis of alcoholism.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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