Document Detail

Biochemical markers of alcohol use in pregnant women.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12554054     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To describe the serious health consequences of alcohol (ethanol) use, especially as they relate to pregnancy and the development of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE). The classic markers of alcohol exposure, including blood/breath alcohol, gamma-glutamyl transferase (gammaGT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), hemoglobin-associated acetaldehyde (HAA) and carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT), are valuable and their methods of analysis are reviewed.
CONCLUSIONS: Since both FAS and FAE represent two of the leading preventable causes of mental retardation and birth defects, identification of alcohol use early in pregnancy is important to avoid adverse fetal outcomes. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of FAS and FAE is usually made after birth, when alcohol damage has become irreversible and permanent. The clinical laboratory can help prevent this damage and make a valuable contribution in assessing prenatal alcohol use. The clinical utility of blood/breath alcohol, gammaGT, MCV, HAA and CDT in alcohol use identification, especially in pregnancy, is substantial. Although none of the markers singularly has adequate sensitivity and specificity for screening, their diagnostic utility increases when measured as a panel. This is especially true in detecting alcohol use in pregnancy where the presence of several positive markers was correlated with the presence of alcohol-related fetal effects.
Janine Denis Cook
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical biochemistry     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0009-9120     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Biochem.     Publication Date:  2003 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-29     Completed Date:  2003-07-31     Revised Date:  2013-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0133660     Medline TA:  Clin Biochem     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9-19     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medical and Research Technology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201-1082, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Acetaldehyde / blood
Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
Alcohols / metabolism
Biological Markers*
Erythrocyte Indices
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / prevention & control*
Hemoglobins / metabolism
Time Factors
Transferrin / analogs & derivatives*,  biosynthesis
gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alcohols; 0/Biological Markers; 0/Hemoglobins; 0/Transferrin; 0/carbohydrate-deficient transferrin; 75-07-0/Acetaldehyde; EC

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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