Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) testing is a reliable way to get a picture of how much alcohol someone has consumed. We’ll look at what PEth testing is, how it can be utilized in family court situations, and how effective it is in this blog.
What exactly is PEth Testing?
Phosphatidylethanol, a direct alcohol biomarker detected in human blood after alcohol use, is measured by a PEth blood test. Phosphatidylethanols are aberrant phospholipids that occur when ethanol (also known as alcohol) is present. In the presence of ethanol, PEth forms and binds to the membrane of red blood cells.
What is the detection window for PEth?
The more alcohol a person consumes, the more PEth is generated in their blood. When PEth blood testing is done on a regular basis, it can help detect prolonged or heavy ‘binge’ drinking. The detection period for PEth is usually 4 weeks. PEth can stay in the blood for up to four weeks.
What is the efficacy of PEth Testing?
PEth is a valid test technique for identifying alcohol usage since it is only produced in the presence of ethanol. Because of its direct relationship to alcohol consumption, it also has a high sensitivity. PEth is especially dependable because it is unaffected by drugs or health conditions, unlike other indirect alcohol markers present in blood.
In the field of family law, testing for PEth is common
Drinking experiments show that PEth can be detected in blood shortly after consumption and for up to 12 days after a single drinking episode*. Because alcohol builds up in the bloodstream after regular use, it can be used to determine chronic excessive alcohol consumption. In light of this, PEth can assist in building a picture of alcohol use when used alongside hair testing and is not recommended as a sole screening tool**.
Suggestions from us
At Lextox, we offer PEth testing and propose combining it with other alcohol indicators to give clients a more complete picture of their alcohol use over time. Blood tests, in our opinion, are unable to offer a definitive assessment of alcohol usage, and we propose that they not be utilized in isolation whenever possible.
When attempting to assess an individual’s chronic alcohol consumption, blood alcohol analysis should be included in the evidential picture, and it is recommended that it be used in conjunction with other data, such as hair alcohol marker testing.
* The URL for this article is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27596747
**Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books