Which indirect biomarkers are used to detect the toxic effects of alcohol?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Alcohol biomarkers are physiologic indicators of alcohol exposure or ingestion and may reflect the presence of an alcohol use disorder. These biomarkers are not meant to be a substitute for a comprehensive history and physical examination. Indirect alcohol biomarkers, which suggest heavy alcohol use by detecting the toxic effects of alcohol, include the following [4] :

  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)

  • Gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT)

  • Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)

  • Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT)

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