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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Best Evidence Topic Reports - BET 1: Can biological markers predict alcohol withdrawal syndrome?

A short-cut review of the literature was carried out to establish whether biological markers (namely carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV)) could reliably predict patients at risk of developing alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Using the below outlined search method and after exclusion of the non-relevant papers, five papers were found to be relevant to the specific question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these are shown in table 1.

The clinical bottom line is that CDT/GGT/MCV is not reliable enough as stand-alone markers to predicte alcohol withdrawal syndrome in chronic alcohol abusers.

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