Abstract: The present paper aims at a systematic review of the current knowledge on phosphatidylethanol (PEth) in blood as a direct marker of chronic alcohol use and abuse. In March 2012, the search through “MeSH” and “free-text” protocols in the databases Medline/PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Ovid/Embase, combining the terms phosphatidylethanol and alcohol, provided 444 records, 58 of which fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were used to summarize the current evidence on the formation, distribution and degradation of PEth in human blood: (1), the presence and distribution of different PEth molecular species (2), the most diffused analytical methods devoted to PEth identification and quantization (3), the clinical efficiency of total PEth quantification as a marker of chronic excessive drinking (4), and the potential utility of this marker for identifying binge drinking behaviors (5). Twelve papers were included in the meta-analysis and the mean (M) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of total PEth concentrations in social drinkers (DAI ≤ 60 g/die; M = 0.288 µM; CI 0.208–0.367 µM) and heavy drinkers (DAI > 60 g/die; M = 3.897 µM; CI 2.404–5.391 µM) were calculated. The present analysis demonstrates a good clinical efficiency of PEth for detecting chronic heavy drinking.
Keywords: alcohol abuse; chronic excessive drinking; biological markers; phospholipids; phosphatidylethanol; mass spectrometry
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Viel, G.; Boscolo-Berto, R.; Cecchetto, G.; Fais, P.; Nalesso, A.; Ferrara, S.D. Phosphatidylethanol in Blood as a Marker of Chronic Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 14788-14812.
Viel G, Boscolo-Berto R, Cecchetto G, Fais P, Nalesso A, Ferrara SD. Phosphatidylethanol in Blood as a Marker of Chronic Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(11):14788-14812.
Viel, Guido; Boscolo-Berto, Rafael; Cecchetto, Giovanni; Fais, Paolo; Nalesso, Alessandro; Ferrara, Santo D. 2012. "Phosphatidylethanol in Blood as a Marker of Chronic Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 11: 14788-14812.