Ethyl Glucuronide for Detecting Alcohol Lapses in Patients With an Alcohol Use Disorder

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Urine ethyl glucuronide (EtG) was screened in 75 patients during a hospital-based treatment for an alcohol use disorder. During follow-up, EtG was detected in 35 (14.6%) of the 239 urine samples. Positive screens were found in 22 patients (29%), of whom nine were outpatients (39.1% of all outpatients) and 13 inpatients (25.0% of all inpatients). Of the 22 patients with positive EtG, five (22%) also gave a positive breath alcohol test and 10 (45.5%) reported recent alcohol consumption; 12 (54.5%) gave a negative breath alcohol test and declared no alcohol lapse. Ethyl glucuronide has been found useful in detecting covered lapses.

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