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News

Assessment of alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and recipients

This month's issue of Liver Transplantation evaluates the best combination of tools for the assessment of alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and recipients.

News image

The detection of alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and liver transplant recipients is required to enable a proper assessment of transplant eligibility and early management of alcohol relapse, respectively.

Dr Salvatore Piano and colleagues from Italy compared markers of alcohol consumption in 121 liver transplant candidates and recipients.

In this clinical setting, urinary ethyl glucuronide, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Alcohol Consumption (AUDIT-c), serum ethanol, urinary ethanol, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), and other indirect markers of alcohol consumption were evaluated.

Alcohol consumption was diagnosed when AUDIT-c results were positive or it was confirmed by a patient's history in response to abnormal results.
Alcohol consumption was identified in 31% of the patients
Liver Transplantation

The researchers found alcohol consumption in 31% of the patients.

Urinary ethyl glucuronide was found to be the strongest marker of alcohol consumption, and provided a more accurate prediction rate of alcohol consumption than CDT and AUDIT-c.

The combination of urinary ethyl glucuronide and AUDIT-c showed higher accuracy in detecting alcohol consumption in comparison with the combination of CDT and AUDIT-c.

Furthermore, the team observed that urinary ethyl glucuronide was the most useful marker for detecting alcohol consumption in patients with negative AUDIT-c results.

Dr Piano's team concludes, "The combination of AUDIT-c and urinary ethyl glucuronide improves the detection of alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and recipients."

"Therefore, they should be used routinely for these patients."

Liver Transplant 2014: 20(7): 815–822
04 July 2014

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