What is PEth (phosphatidylethanol)?
PEth is only formed in the presence of ethanol and can be used as a marker of alcohol intake in clinical tests. The PEth concentration gives indications of the extent of alcohol intake.
A single occasion of intoxication does not produce measurable levels of PEth. The half-life is about 4 days. Depending on the starting value, PEth can be detected up to 4 weeks after the end of alcohol intake.
Reference range - high and low PEth value
- <0.05 µmol/L indicates no or only sporadic alcohol consumption.
- Values of 0.05-0.30 µmol/L indicate moderate alcohol intake.
- <0.30 µmol/L indicates extensive and/or regular alcohol intake.
The half-life of PEth, which is the time it takes for half of an initial amount of PEth to be broken down in the body, is about 4 days. This means that if a person has drunk alcohol and formed PEth, half the amount of PEth will have been broken down after 4 days, and after another 4 days another half will have been broken down.
Knowing the half-life of PEth is important when interpreting PEth results, as it can affect how long a person's alcohol consumption can be detected using PEth.