PEth Testing (phosphatidylethanol):

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is an abnormal phospholipid formed in cell tissues following alcohol exposure. PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid to long-term alcohol biomarker measurable after engaging in risky alcohol drinking behavior. A positive result is an indication of intentional alcohol drinking during the 2-3 weeks prior to the collection of the blood.

While ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a sensitive and valuable assay for those individuals in treatment programs for alcohol abuse, recent studies have indicated that low level positive EtG results can be produced by certain agents like hand sanitizers and mouth wash. The PEthStat assay helps to discriminate between incidental exposure and intentional alcohol ingestion. The volume of alcohol required to trigger a positive PEth result is far above the level commonly attained by incidental exposure.

Certain job functions such as pilots, engineers and other safety sensitive positions may benefit from PEth testing.  For instance, certain modalities, such as those associated with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) are utilizing PEth testing to determine binge drinking patterns among pilots.  With public safety being of the highest concern, utilizing testing methods outside of and in addition to the standard is being more widely accepted. PEth testing can be a good alternative to those who, by medical means or other, cannot produce a viable urine specimen, as in weekly Etg/ Ets Testing.

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