Diagnostic sensitivity of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in heavy drinkers

Fagan K.J., Irvine K.M., McWhinney B.C., Fletcher L.M., Horsfall L.U., Johnson L., O'Rourke P., Martin J., Scott I., Pretorius C.J., Ungerer J.P.J. and Powell E.E. (2014) Diagnostic sensitivity of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in heavy drinkers. BMC Gastroenterology, 14 1: 1-6. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-97

Author Fagan K.J.
Irvine K.M.
McWhinney B.C.
Fletcher L.M.
Horsfall L.U.
Johnson L.
O'Rourke P.
Martin J.
Scott I.
Pretorius C.J.
Ungerer J.P.J.
Powell E.E.
Title Diagnostic sensitivity of carbohydrate deficient transferrin in heavy drinkers
Journal name BMC Gastroenterology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-230X
Publication date 2014-05-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-230X-14-97
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, England, U.K.
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Subject 2715 Gastroenterology
Abstract Background and Aim: Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) is the most specific serum biomarker of heavy alcohol consumption, defined as ≥ 350-420 g alcohol/week. Despite introduction of a standardized reference measurement technique, widespread use of CDT remains limited due to low sensitivity. The aim of this study was to determine the factors that affect diagnostic sensitivity in patients with sustained heavy alcohol intake. Methods: Patients with a self-reported history of sustained heavy alcohol consumption were recruited from the hepatology outpatient department or medical wards. Each patient was interviewed with a validated structured questionnaire of alcohol consumption and CDT analysis using the standardized reference measurement technique with high performance liquid chromatography was performed on serum collected at time of interview. Results: 52 patients were recruited: 19 from the hepatology outpatient department and 33 from general medical wards. Median alcohol intake was 1013 (range 366-5880) g/week over the preceding two week period. 26 patients had a diagnostic CDT based on a threshold value of %CDT > 1.7 indicating heavy alcohol consumption, yielding a sensitivity of 50%. Overweight/obesity (defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 in Caucasians and ≥ 23.0 kg/m2 in Asians), female gender and presence of cirrhosis were independently associated with non-diagnostic %CDT (≤ 1.7). Conclusions: CDT has limited sensitivity as a biomarker of heavy alcohol consumption. Caution should be applied when ordering and interpreting %CDT results, particularly in women, patients with cirrhosis and those with an elevated BMI.
Keyword Alcohol
High performance liquid chromatography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
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