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Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol)

SI UNITS (recommended)


* The SI units is the recommended method of reporting clinical laboratory results

Units of measurement
mmol/l, µmol/l, mg/dl, mg/100ml, mg%, mg/l, µg/ml

Ethyl alcohol determinations are among the most frequent analyses required in the forensic and clinical toxicology laboratory. Ethyl alcohol measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol intoxication and poisoning.

Alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol) is the most frequently performed medicolegal test, and alcohol is the most common toxic substance encountered. In addition to beverages, products containing alcohol in significant amounts include mouthwashes, colognes, and medicinal preparations. Measurements of alcohol levels are used to determine legal impairment, for forensic purposes, in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol dependency, and in emergency settings to detect alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol’s deleterious effects are well documented. It has been linked with birth defects (fetal alcohol syndrome), cardiac conditions, high blood pressure, liver disease, and mental deterioration. It is by far the leading cause of death from hepatic failure. Additionally, alcohol- induced behavior is a contributing factor in the majority of accidents and murders.

Within approximately one hour of ingestion, alcohol will have permeated all tissues of the body in proportion to water content. Some alcohol is absorbed while in the stomach, but the principle site of absorption is the upper portion of the small intestine. Rate of absorption is dependent upon emptying time of the stomach, which is subject to various influences. Since alcohol distributes evenly throughout the body water, its concentration in blood following a known dose may be estimated indirectly by measuring concentrations in urine, serum, or plasma.

About 95% of the elimination of alcohol from the body is accomplished by metabolism in the liver. The remainder is excreted unchanged by the lungs, kidneys, and in the feces. Alcohol is rapidly metabolized so that a moderate dose will clear from the blood in approximately one hour.

Frequently used methods for detecting alcohol in biological fluid are flame-ionization gas chromatography, microdiffusion, and enzymatic assay.

SI units Conversion Calculator. Convert Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol) level to mmol/l, µmol/l, mg/dl, mg/100ml, mg%, mg/l, µg/ml. Clinical laboratory units online conversion from conventional or traditional units to Si units. Table of conversion factors for Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol) unit conversion to mmol/l, µmol/l, mg/dl, mg/100ml, mg%, mg/l, µg/ml.