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Clinical evaluation of carbohydrate deficient transferrin as an indicator of alcohol dependence

  • Prakash C Naik (a1), Tim Webb (a2) and Phillip C McLean (a3)


Objective: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) as an indicator of alcohol dependence (DSM 111R). Method: Subjects included 18 patients with alcohol dependence and 36 controls (15 recovering alcohol dependents and 21 blood donors). Blood samples from the subjects were analysed for CDT, mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and γ Glutamyltransferase (γGT). These indicators were compared for their sensitivities and specificities to detect excessive alcohol use. Results: Amongst patients with alcohol dependence, CDT was detected in all (100%), γGT was raised in 8 (44%) and MCV was raised in 4 (22%). CDT was detected in five of the 36 controls. Conclusion: CDT was the most sensitive indicator of alcohol dependence. However, CDT showed a much higher false positive rate compared to previous studies. More research is required to elicit at what level of alcohol consumption CDT becomes positive. CDT could prove to be a clinically useful indicator of excessive alcohol use in future.



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Clinical evaluation of carbohydrate deficient transferrin as an indicator of alcohol dependence

  • Prakash C Naik (a1), Tim Webb (a2) and Phillip C McLean (a3)


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