N Latex CDT Assay
Highly specific screening for detection of chronic alcohol abuse
Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is regarded as a very specific marker for identifying excessive alcohol consumption and monitoring abstinence during outpatient treatment.
Regular alcohol consumption of more than 50–80 g of ethanol per day for at least 2 weeks can result in a changed glycosylation pattern of transferrin, leading to a higher rate of isoforms lacking one or both entire carbohydrate chains. These isoforms (disialo- and asialotransferrin) are collectively named carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (Figure 1). After approximately 2–4 weeks of abstinence, CDT concentrations usually return to normal levels.
Compared to other markers, CDT offers superior sensitivity and specificity:1,2
- CDT is seemingly unaffected by liver diseases other than those induced by alcohol abuse (except biliary cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis).
- CDT is not influenced by common chronic diseases or medication.
- CDT indicates the effectiveness of alcohol detoxification much earlier than gamma-glutamyl transferase or erythrocyte mean corpuscular volume, for example.
Based on an assumed cutoff of 2.5 %CDT, test results obtained with N Latex CDT on BN™ Systems exhibit a specificity of 97% and a sensitivity of 93% in comparison to the %CDT values determined with HPLC.3
1. Allen AP. Use of biomarkers of heavy drinking in health care practice. Military Medicine. 2003;168(5):364-367.
2. Madhubala V, et al. Serum carbohydrate deficient transferrin as a sensitive marker in diagnosing alcohol abuse: a case-control study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013;7(2):197-200.
3. Delanghe JR, et al. Development and multicenter evaluation of the N Latex CDT direct immunonephelometric assay for serum carbohydate-deficient transferrin. Clin Chem. 2007;53:1115-21.
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