A variety of laboratory tests are available to assist in the diagnosis of alcohol consumption and related disorders. The levels of intake at which laboratory results become abnormal vary from person to person. Laboratory tests are particularly useful in settings where cooperativeness is suspected or when a history is not available. Several biochemical and hematological tests, such as γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activity, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) content of serum, and erythrocyte mean corpuscular volume (MCV) are established markers of alcohol intake. Their validity as markers is based largely on correlations with recent intake at a single time point and on decreases in elevated values when heavy drinkers abstain from alcohol. These readily available laboratory tests provide important prognostic information and should be integral part of the assessment of persons with hazardous alcohol consumption. There are several other markers with considerable potential for more accurate reflection of recent alcohol intake. These include carbohydrate deficient transferrin, β-hexosaminidase, acetaldehyde adducts and the urinary ratio of serotonin metabolites, 5-hydroxytryptophol and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. These markers provide hope for more sensitive and specific aids to diagnosis and improved monitoring for intake.
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S. K. Das, Vasudevan, D. M., and Nayak, P., “Biochemical markers for alcohol consumption”, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, vol. 18, pp. 111-118, 2003.