Whereas urinary ethyl glucuronide (EtG) levels above 1,000 ng/ml reflect with a high probability ethanol (EtOH) consumption, levels below this cutoff are difficult to interpret as both extraneous (nonbeverage) EtOH exposure, recent drinking, and more distant high EtOH intake (several days ago) might yield similar results. This might be of particular relevance in medico-legal cases. To overcome this dilemma, phosphatidylethanol (PEth) might be a promising marker, because blood PEth is only positive following significant alcohol use. The aim of our study was therefore to employ PEth as a marker to differentiate between the different conditions.
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