New biochemical markers of ethyl alcohol abuse – new possibilities in clinical practice
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Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny / Medical University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland (Klinika Chorób Zawodowych, Metabolicznych i Wewnętrznych / Department of Occupational, Metabolic and Internal Diseases)
Uniwersytet Gdański / University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland (Katedra Biochemii Ogólnej i Medycznej / Department of General and Medical Biochemistry)
Online publication date: 2021-02-05
Corresponding author
Przemysław Paul   

Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny, Klinika Chorób Zawodowych, Metabolicznych i Wewnętrznych, ul. Powstania Styczniowego 9b, 81-519 Gdynia
Med Pr 2021;72(2):173–184
Alcohol ranks as one of the leading behavioral threats to health and life in developed countries. Alcohol abuse triggers serious social and economic effects: it contributes to higher prevalence of work-related and road accidents, as well as absence from work. The diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism still remain very difficult. Hence, the use of objective biochemical markers of alcohol abuse may contribute to earlier detection, more effective therapy and reliable teetotalism control. The aim of this study is to present the sensitive and specific biomarkers of alcohol abuse available in Poland, with particular emphasis on the practical use possibilities. Such tests may be widely used, e.g., in driving license regranting cases involving drivers whose licenses were suspended for driving when intoxicated, for the early detection of persons abusing alcohol in employment-related health controls, for abstinence monitoring during withdrawal treatment, for detecting alcohol consumption in transplant settings, for assessing the prevalence of alcohol drinking in pregnancy, as well as in autopsical examinations. The standardization of biomarkers measurement methods is essential. Moreover, concomitant disorders may pose a significant problem in the proper outcome analysis. Despite these limitations, objective biochemical markers of ethyl alcohol abuse may become helpful tools in medical care. They can play a particular role in occupational medicine diagnostics, contributing to the higher level of safety on public roads and to worker safety. Med Pr. 2021;72(2):173–84