Time Dependence of Elimination of Different PEth Homologues in Alcoholics in Comparison with Social Drinkers

Gnann, Heike; Thierauf, Annette; Hagenbuch, Friedemann; Röhr, Bernhard; Weinmann, Wolfgang (2014). Time Dependence of Elimination of Different PEth Homologues in Alcoholics in Comparison with Social Drinkers. Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research, 38(2), pp. 322-326. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/acer.12277

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BACKGROUND: Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is a direct marker of alcohol consumption, which has been known for almost 30 years. Each PEth molecule carries 2 fatty acids, which differ in chain length and degree of unsaturation. It is formed by means of phospholipase D in the presence of ethanol. Usually, this marker was used by quantification of the PEth homologue 16:0/18:1. The intention of this work was to get more information about the distribution and the quantity of the different PEth homologues.

METHODS: Blood samples from 12 alcohol-dependent subjects were collected and analyzed during withdrawal therapy. For comparison, blood from 78 healthy social drinkers was also analyzed. PEth analysis was performed as follows: after liquid-liquid extraction, the homologues were separated on a Luna Phenyl Hexyl column, injected to an HPLC system (1100 system; Agilent) and identified by ESI-MS/MS (QTrap 2000; AB Sciex) using multiple reaction monitoring.

RESULTS: PEth 16:0/18:1 is the major homologue comparing the area ratios of PEth homologues in blood samples from alcoholics. Additional prevalent homologues were PEth 16:0/18:2, 18:0/18:2, and 18:0/18:1. The homologues occurring in blood samples from alcoholics as well as from social drinkers were mostly the same, but differences among their distribution pattern were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the approach to quantitate the PEth homologue
16:0/18:1, this is a new and alternative proceeding for the differentiation
between alcoholics and social drinkers using this alcohol consumption marker.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology

UniBE Contributor:

Weinmann, Wolfgang


500 Science > 540 Chemistry








Katrin Renfer

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2014 14:53

Last Modified:

11 Nov 2015 09:08

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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