Publications by authors named "Delphine Cappelle"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Sub-picomolar quantification of PTH 1-34 in plasma by UHPLC-MS/MS after subcutaneous injection of teriparatide and identification of PTH 1-33, its degradation product.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2019 Mar 9;166:205-212. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Service of Clinical Pharmacology, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Teriparatide (PTH 1-34, Forsteo) is a bioactive N-terminal fragment of the native endogenous parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-84) recommended for the treatment of osteoporosis in patients with high risk of fracture. Since PTH 1-34 may undergo proteolysis we have validated an ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method for unambiguously measuring intact PTH 1-34 with the same sensitivity as ELISA, at subpicomolar level (LLOQ at 0.4 pM). The full chromatographic run was achieved in 16.5 min. The method validation showed satisfactory intra- and inter-assay precision (CV < 13%) and excellent trueness (<5%), and almost no matrix effect (recoveries 78-92%). We found that after subcutaneous injection in two volunteers, PTH 1-34 half-life was shorter with UHPLC-MS/MS and that ELISA was overestimating PTH 1-34 late concentrations in both volunteers. Qualitative mass spectrometry was performed and led to the discovery of PTH 1-33, a fragment of PTH 1-34 with unknown function. This study emphasized the importance of switching from immunoassays to mass spectrometry when measuring bioactive peptides prompt to proteolysis into fragments that may exhibit altered bioactivity and duration of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2019.01.011DOI Listing
March 2019

Assessment of ethyl sulphate in hair as a marker for alcohol consumption using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

Drug Test Anal 2018 Oct 19;10(10):1566-1572. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and ethyl sulphate (EtS) are 2 non-oxidative and direct metabolites of ethanol. EtG is known to accumulate in hair and has proved to be a reliable biomarker for detection of chronic alcohol consumption. EtS has been analysed in blood and urine but has never been reported in hair. This article presents the first analytical assay based on liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry for the quantification of EtS in hair. Sample preparation, chromatographic, and mass spectrometric parameters, such as solid-phase extraction, column type, and transitions were optimised. The method was validated according to the guidelines of the European Medicine Agency, fulfilling the requirements for limit of quantification (LOQ), linearity, accuracy, precision, carry-over, matrix effects, and recovery. Linearity ranged from 5 to 500 pg mg and the LOQ was achieved at 5 pg mg . The novel method was successfully applied to hair samples (n = 40) from patients treated for alcohol use disorders. EtS concentrations in hair ranged from 24 to 1776 pg mg , while EtG concentrations in hair ranged from 1 to 1149 pg mg . Hair concentrations of EtS and EtG were compared to assess the relationship between both biomarkers. There was a significant and positive correlation between EtS and EtG in hair, suggesting that EtS can be used as a biomarker for alcohol consumption. Relatively high basal EtS levels were observed in alcohol-abstinent persons, comparable to what has been reported for EtG. The developed analytical procedure offers an alternative method to prove alcohol consumption using hair analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.2410DOI Listing
October 2018

Keratinous matrices for the assessment of drugs of abuse consumption: A correlation study between hair and nails.

Drug Test Anal 2018 Jan 5. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Keratinous matrices - hair and nails - accumulate substances over time and allow retrospective investigation of past consumption. Analysis of these matrices can provide information complementary to blood and urine analysis or can be used as standalone. So far, research has primarily focused on the detection of substances in hair, while studies in nails are scarce. In this study, we assessed concentrations of drugs of abuse and their metabolites in hair, fingernails, and toenails collected from the same individuals to evaluate differences and correlations between matrices. A total of 26 hair, 24 fingernail, and 18 toenail samples were collected. Samples were analysed by a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method able to simultaneously detect the following compounds: amphetamine (AMP), methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine, morphine (MOR), codeine (COD), 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM), methadone (MTD), 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP), cocaine (COC), benzoylecgonine (BE), and ecgonine methyl ester (EME). Strong positive correlations between hair, fingernails, and toenails were present for COC, BE, EME, AMP and MDMA. MOR, COD, 6-MAM, MTD and EDDP showed positive trends. Concentrations were generally higher in nails compared to hair. Ratios between parent compounds and their metabolites were assessed for 6-MAM/MOR, EDDP/MTD, BE/COC and EME/COC. Preliminary cut-off concentrations for COC, BE, EME and AMP in fingernails and toenails were proposed. In light of these results, nails can be considered as a useful alternative to hair for monitoring of long-term drug consumption. However, care should be taken regarding the variability in the accumulation of compounds between the matrices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.2356DOI Listing
January 2018

Ethyl glucuronide in keratinous matrices as biomarker of alcohol use: A correlation study between hair and nails.

Forensic Sci Int 2017 Oct 26;279:187-191. Epub 2017 Aug 26.

Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address:

To quantify alcohol use, objective, specific and sensitive long-term alcohol markers are necessary. Ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a direct metabolite of alcohol, accumulates in keratinous matrices such as hair and nails, and is a specific and sensitive long-term biomarker for the detection of chronic alcohol consumption. So far, research has primarily focused on the detection of EtG in hair, and studies on its measurement in nails are scarce. In this article, we assessed EtG concentrations in hair, finger- and toenails from the same individuals in order to evaluate the direct correlation between the matrices. To this end, a total amount of 45 hair, 41 fingernail, and 13 toenail samples were collected from patients treated for alcohol use disorders at two psychiatric centers in Belgium. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Hair EtG concentrations ranged from 123pg/mg for chronic excessive alcohol consumption, 59-123pg/mg for moderate alcohol consumption, and <59pg/mg for alcohol abstinence. In light of these results, nails may be a useful alternative to hair samples for monitoring of long-term alcohol consumption, e.g., in cases where hair is not available. Further studies are needed to establish cut-off values for EtG levels in nails.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.08.022DOI Listing
October 2017

A straightforward, validated liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous detection of nine drugs of abuse and their metabolites in hair and nails.

Anal Chim Acta 2017 Apr 25;960:101-109. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Antwerp, Belgium; Toxicology and TDM Laboratory, ZNA Stuivenberg Hospital, Lange Beeldekenstraat 267, B2060 Antwerp, Belgium.

Hair and nails allow for a stable accumulation of compounds over time and retrospective investigation of past exposure and/or consumption. Owing to their long window of detection (weeks to months), analysis of these matrices can provide information complementary to blood and urine analysis or can be used in standalone when e.g. elimination from the body has already occurred. Drugs of abuse are often used together and, therefore, multi-analyte methods capable of detecting several substances and their metabolites in a single run are of importance. This paper presents the development and validation of a method based on liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for the simultaneous detection of nine drugs of abuse and their metabolites in hair and nails. We focused on a simple and straightforward sample preparation to reduce costs, and allow application in routine laboratory practice. Chromatographic and mass spectrometric parameters, such as column type, mobile phase, and multiple reaction monitoring transitions were optimized. The method was validated according to the European Medicine Agency guidelines with an assessment of specificity, limit of quantification (LOQ), linearity, accuracy, precision, carry-over, matrix effects, recovery, and process efficiency. Linearity ranged from 25 to 20 000 pg mg hair and from 50 to 20 000 pg mg nails, and the lowest calibration point achieved the requirements for the LOQ (25 pg mg for hair and 50 pg mg for nails). Although it was not the main focus of the article, the reliability of the method was proven through successful participation in a proficiency test, and by investigation of authentic hair and nail samples from self-reported drug users. In the future, the method should allow comparison between the two matrices to acquire an in-depth knowledge of nail analysis and to define cutoff levels for nail analysis, as they exist for hair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2017.01.022DOI Listing
April 2017

Hair ethyl glucuronide concentrations in teetotalers: Should we re-evaluate the lower cut-off?

Forensic Sci Int 2017 May 14;274:107-108. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Toxicological Center, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium; Toxicology and TDM Laboratory, ZNA Stuivenberg, Antwerp, Belgium.

Aims: Ethyl glucuronide in hair (hEtG) can be used to assess the retrospective consumption of alcohol. A lower cut-off of 7pg/mg hair in the 0-3cm proximal scalp hair segment has been used for repeated alcohol consumption in the previous three months. While a concentration below this cut-off is stated not to contradict self reported abstinence, it is often used to assess whether an individual has remained abstinent in the period prior to hair sampling. Here, we address hEtG concentrations in alcohol consuming individuals and critically evaluate this cut-off value.

Methods: Ten individuals remained abstinent from alcohol for 12 weeks. A lock of hair was cut before the start of the study, and the regrown hairs were cut after twelve weeks of abstinence. Hair EtG concentrations were measured both at baseline and after 12 weeks of abstinence. Study compliance was assessed by urine analysis every 2-3 days by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with a lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) of 0.1μg/mL. HEtG concentrations were assessed in the first 3cm hair using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with an LLOQ of 0.2pg/mg.

Results: At the beginning of the study, participants had hEtG concentrations ranging between
Discussion: In participants consuming no alcohol, all but one had low, but measurable hEtG concentrations (up to 4.5pg/mg hair), which was in the participant with the highest pre-study alcohol consumption. As only regrown hairs were cut, it is not likely that this was due to residual EtG from the pre-study period.

Conclusions: Although the number of specimens was low, this study reports measurable hEtG concentrations following total abstinence, although not exceeding the current 7pg/mg cut-off for hair. A suitable sensitive method (GC-MS/MS) is preferred when assessing alcohol abstinence. We propose that the current cut-off of 7pg/mg should be discussed further, and, in view of the small study sample, evaluated using a larger sample size.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2016.11.008DOI Listing
May 2017

Influence of Body Mass Index on Hair Ethyl Glucuronide Concentrations.

Alcohol Alcohol 2017 Jan 20;52(1):19-23. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Laboratoire National de Santé, Service de Toxicologie, Dudelange, Luxembourg.

Aim: Analysis of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) concentrations in hair is increasingly used to estimate the consumption of alcohol of the prior months. Linear correlations between the amount of alcohol consumed and the concentration of EtG in hair have been reported, and several variables that may influence this correlation have been investigated: e.g. cosmetic hair treatments, gender influences or hair color. Here, we investigate the influence of body mass index (BMI) on this correlation.

Methods: A post hoc analysis on the influence of BMI on the relation between amounts of alcohol consumed and the measured EtG concentrations in hair in 199 participants.

Results: Our data show higher EtG concentrations in participants with high BMI (≥25) compared to participants with low BMI (<25) (P = 0.001) across a wide range of amounts of alcohol consumed.

Conclusions: We conclude that BMI should be taken into account when interpreting hair EtG concentrations.

Short Summary: Ethyl glucuronide concentrations in hair (hEtG) can be used to estimate the consumption of alcohol of the prior months. Body mass index (BMI) influences this relation and BMI should be taken into account when interpreting hEtG concentrations in participants with high BMI (≥25) compared to participants with low BMI (<25).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agw079DOI Listing
January 2017

Hair ethyl glucuronide and serum carbohydrate deficient transferrin for the assessment of relapse in alcohol-dependent patients.

Clin Biochem 2016 May 3;49(7-8):554-9. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Toxicological Center, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Toxicology and TDM Laboratory, ZNA Stuivenberg Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium.

Objectives: Ethyl glucuronide in hair (hEtG) and serum carbohydrate deficient transferrin (%CDT) are valuable markers for alcohol abuse, but their diagnostic accuracy to monitor abstinence and relapse is unclear. Here, we investigate to what extent repeated measurements of hEtG and %CDT can be used to monitor relapse in alcohol-dependent patients during abstinence treatment.

Design And Methods: HEtG and %CDT were measured in individuals starting treatment for alcohol dependence both at treatment entry and 3months later. Alcohol consumption and relapse episodes were recorded using the Time Line Follow Back and by alcohol breath and urine tests, and correlated with hEtG and %CDT measurements.

Results: Fifteen patients completed the study, of which nine had one or more relapses. Hair EtG and serum %CDT identified whether a relapse occurred in 78% and 57% of cases, respectively. Only hEtG correlated with the amount of alcohol consumed before treatment entry (Pearson r=0.92; p<0.001). The specificity of %CDT to assess abstinence during treatment was 100%. HEtG had a specificity of only 17%; however, in all patients who remained abstinent, hEtG decreased with >85% from initial values. Mean hEtG, but not %CDT, differed significantly between patients who relapsed and patients who remained abstinent (p=0.034).

Conclusions: HEtG was more sensitive than serum %CDT to assess relapse in alcohol-dependent patients and was positively correlated with the amounts of alcohol consumed. In contrast, serum %CDT was more specific for assessing abstinence. We highlight the benefit of repeated measurements of hEtG and serum %CDT for monitoring abstinence during treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2015.11.023DOI Listing
May 2016

Ethyl glucuronide concentrations in hair: a controlled alcohol-dosing study in healthy volunteers.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2016 Mar 9;408(8):2019-25. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Toxicological Center, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a minor phase II metabolite of alcohol that accumulates in hair. It has been established as a sensitive marker to assess the retrospective consumption of alcohol over recent months using a cut-off of ≥7 pg/mg hair to assess repeated alcohol consumption. The primary aim was to assess whether amounts of alcohol consumed correlated with EtG concentrations in hair. Additionally, we investigated whether the current applied cut-off value of 7 pg/mg hair was adequate to assess the regular consumption of low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol. A prospective controlled alcohol-dosing study in 30 healthy individuals matched on age and gender. Individuals were instructed to drink no alcohol (N = 10), 100 g alcohol per week (N = 10) or 150 g alcohol per week (N = 10) for 12 consecutive weeks, before and after which hair was collected. Throughout the study, compliance to daily alcohol consumption was assessed by analyzing urine EtG three times weekly. Participants in the non-drinking group had median EtG concentrations of 0.5 pg/mg hair (interquartile range (IQR) 1.7 pg/mg; range < 0.21-4.5 pg/mg). Participants consuming 100 and 150 g alcohol per week showed median EtG concentrations of 5.6 pg/mg hair (IQR 4.7 pg/mg; range 2.0-9.8 pg/mg) and 11.3 pg/mg hair (IQR 5.0 pg/mg; range 7.7-38.9 pg/mg), respectively. Hair EtG concentrations between the three study groups differed significantly from one another (p < 0.001). Hair EtG concentrations can be used to differentiate between repeated (low-to-moderate) amounts of alcohol consumed over a long time period. For the assessment of repeated alcohol use, we propose that the current cut-off of 7 pg/mg could be re-evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-015-9117-0DOI Listing
March 2016

Gas chromatographic determination of ethyl glucuronide in hair: comparison between tandem mass spectrometry and single quadrupole mass spectrometry.

Forensic Sci Int 2015 Apr 23;249:20-4. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Toxicological University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Antwerp, Belgium.

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a minor metabolite of ethanol, accumulates in hair and is currently used as a long-term marker for the detection of chronic and excessive alcohol consumption. Sensitive methods are required to differentiate teetotalers from moderate drinkers according to the established cut-off (i.e., 7 pg/mg hair). The aim of this study was to develop a sensitive method using gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) operated in the negative ion chemical ionization (NICI) mode. The validated method was applied to hair samples from teetotalers, moderate and excessive alcohol consumers, and results were compared to a previously validated GC-NICI-MS method. The developed GC-NICI-MS/MS method showed linearity over a range from 2 to 400 pg/mg hair, with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.05 pg/mg hair and a lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) of 0.2 pg/mg hair, compared to an LOD of 0.5 pg/mg hair and LLOQ of 1.5 pg/mg hair obtained with GC-NICI-MS. Furthermore, lower background noise was observed using GC-NICI-MS/MS. Comparison of results of hair samples (n=58) obtained by GC-NICI-MS and GC-NICI-MS/MS showed no significant difference between both methods (paired-sample t-test, p>0.05; mean CV=1.0%). The differences between both methods were larger for EtG concentrations<30 mg/pg hair (mean CV=1.7%) than for EtG concentrations>30 mg/pg hair (mean CV=0.7%). This suggests a higher selectivity of GC-NICI-MS/MS at lower concentrations. In conclusion, by using GC-NICI-MS/MS, a higher analytical selectivity and an improved signal to noise ratio, can be achieved. Although GC-NICI-MS would not change the interpretation of the EtG concentrations, the present GC-NICI-MS/MS method should preferentially be used for the determination of EtG in hair, especially when differentiating between teetotalers and moderate drinkers according to the current cut-off (i.e., 7 pg/mg hair).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.11.022DOI Listing
April 2015

Influence of repeated permanent coloring and bleaching on ethyl glucuronide concentrations in hair from alcohol-dependent patients.

Forensic Sci Int 2015 Feb 9;247:18-22. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Toxicological Center, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Toxicology Laboratory, ZNA Stuivenberg, Antwerp, Belgium.

Background: Ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a minor metabolite of alcohol, is used as a sensitive marker in hair to detect the retrospective consumption of alcohol. The proximal 0-3 cm hair segment is often used for analysis, providing information on alcohol consumption over the past 3 months. Using more distal segments would allow the detection of alcohol consumption over longer time periods, thereby addressing the chronicity of the consumption. In view of this, permanent coloring and bleaching were shown in vitro to alter EtG concentrations in hair, but no in vivo studies are available to prove or disprove this.

Aims: To investigate the influence of repeated bleaching and permanent coloring on EtG concentrations in vivo and to assess the stability of EtG concentrations in distal compared to proximal hair segments.

Methods: Hair samples from alcohol-dependent patients with uncolored/unbleached (N=4), permanent coloration (N=5) and bleached hair (N=5) were analyzed in two to six 3 cm long segments for EtG concentrations, and alcohol consumption and hair cosmetic treatments were assessed.

Results: We observed that hair bleaching and permanent coloring reduces EtG concentrations by 82±11% and 65±24%, respectively, with correlations between the number of cosmetic treatments and the decrease in EtG concentrations. EtG remained stable in untreated hair samples up to 18 cm.

Conclusions: EtG is a sensitive marker to assess chronic alcohol consumption up to 18 months in alcohol-dependent patients with no cosmetic hair treatments. However, in alcohol-dependent patients who color or bleach their hair, care should be taken when interpreting EtG measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.11.023DOI Listing
February 2015

Advances in detection of antipsychotics in biological matrices.

Clin Chim Acta 2015 Feb 12;441:11-22. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium; Laboratory for TDM and Toxicology, ZNA Stuivenberg, Lange Beeldekensstraat 267, B-2060 Antwerp, Belgium.

Measuring antipsychotic concentrations in human matrices is important for both therapeutic drug monitoring and forensic toxicology. This review provides a critical overview of the analytical methods for detection and quantification of antipsychotics published in the last four years. Focus lies on advances in sample preparation, analytical techniques and alternative matrices. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is used most often for quantification of antipsychotics. This sensitive technique makes it possible to determine low concentrations not only in serum, plasma or whole blood, but also in alternative matrices like oral fluid, dried blood spots, hair, nails and other body tissues. Current literature on analytical techniques for alternative matrices is still limited and often requires a more thorough validation including a comparison between conventional and alternative results to determine their actual value. Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) makes it possible to quantify a high amount of compounds within a shorter run time. This technique is widely used for multi-analyte methods. Only recently, high-resolution mass spectrometry has gained importance when a combination of screening of (un)known metabolites, and quantification is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2014.12.008DOI Listing
February 2015

Hair ethyl glucuronide as a biomarker of alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent patients: role of gender differences.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2014 Aug 2;141:163-6. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Antwerp, Belgium; Toxicology Laboratory, ZNA Stuivenberg, Lange Beeldekenstraat 267, B2060 Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a minor alcohol metabolite that accumulates in hair and is proposed as a stable marker for the detection of chronic and excessive alcohol consumption above a cut-off level of 30pg/mg hair. A correlation between drinking behavior and EtG hair concentrations is observed, but large variability exists.

Aims: To investigate the correlation between alcohol consumption and hair EtG concentrations in alcohol dependent patients, and the effect of gender differences as a factor for the variability on this correlation.

Methods: EtG was measured by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in the hairs (first 3cm) of 36 alcohol dependent patients (25 males/11 females) starting and alcohol detoxification program. Factors that possibly influence EtG content in hair (except age and gender) were excluded. Detailed retrospective alcohol consumption was obtained over the last 3 months using the Timeline Follow Back interview.

Results: Median total alcohol consumption over 3 months was 13,050g pure alcohol (range 60-650g/day). Hair EtG concentrations varied between 32 and 662pg/mg. There was a statistically significant linear and positive correlation between hair EtG and amounts of alcohol consumed (Pearson r=0.83; p<0.001), in both males (Pearson r=0.83; p<0.001) and females (Pearson r=0.76; p=0.007).

Conclusions: There is a linear correlation, with no significant effect of gender, between hair EtG concentrations and amounts of alcohol consumed in alcohol-dependent individuals. Analysis of EtG in hair can be applied to estimate retrospective alcohol consumption in both male and female alcohol dependent subjects using the same cut-off.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.05.014DOI Listing
August 2014
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