Clinical Chemistry In the Department of Pathology
 Screening for volatile alcohols
 Our screen for volatile alcohols replaces GLC

Toxicology & Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

Alcohol testing

Alcohol poisoning is frequently suspected when patients present to the Emergency Department with confusion, especially if serum and urine screens for other drugs of abuse are negative.

Automated enzymatic assays for ethanol have become readily available and have replaced gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) at many medical centers. However, these assays do not detect other volatile toxic alcohols (such as isopropanol and methanol) nor do they detect ethylene glycol.

At Stanford, by combining the ethanol level and the calculation of the osmolal gap, we are able to rule out the presence of other toxic alcohols and ethylene glycol in patients.

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