Are Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin Assays Useful for the Detection of Recurrent ‘Binge Drinking’ in Children with an Alcohol Intoxication in the Emergency Department?

  1. Margot A.L. Stokbroekx1,
  2. Saskia Houterman2,
  3. Stefan A.J. Coolen3,
  4. Nico van der Lely4 and
  5. Rolf A.A. Pelleboer1,*
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Education and Research, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  3. 3Medical Laboratories, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, Delft, the Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, Delft, the Netherlands
  1. *Corresponding author: Catharina Hospital, PO Box 1350, 5602 ZA, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Tel.: +31-40-239-92-00; E-mail: r.pelleboer{at}onsnet.nu
  • Received February 5, 2014.
  • Revision requested March 18, 2014.
  • Revision received May 13, 2014.
  • Accepted July 7, 2014.

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate different carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) assays for the detection of recurrent excessive alcohol abuse in adolescents prior to acute alcohol intoxication. Methods: Data on drinking behaviour and CDT levels of adolescents (13–18 years) registered at the outpatient clinic for youth and alcohol at three major district general hospitals in the Netherlands were retrospectively collected. CDT and disialotransferrin (DST) levels of binge-drinking teenagers were compared with non-binge-drinking teenagers. Results: In total 198 samples were collected for the N Latex CDT method (N = 83), no differences were found in mean CDT levels for binge versus non-binge drinkers (P = 0.8). The Helander HPLC (N = 78) showed significantly higher values for binge drinkers than for non-binge drinkers (mean 1.20%DST, SD 0.28 and mean 1.01%DST, SD 0.31, respectively (P = 0.01)). The Recipe ClinRep method (N = 37) also showed significantly higher values for binge drinkers (mean 1.17%DST, SD 0.36 and mean 0.89%DST, SD 0.34, respectively (P = 0.03)). Conclusion: With the Helander HPLC method and the Recipe ClinRep assay higher levels are measured in binge drinkers than in non-binge drinkers.