carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT)

Gwen E. Sprague gsprague at sky.net
Tue Feb 13 19:10:35 EST 1996

sugisaki at katanuki.bekkoame.or.jp (sugisaki) wrote:
>Dear netters; It was said that serum level of carbohydrate deficient
>transferrin might be a better diagnostic marker of chronic excessive
>drinking (EtOH) regardless of with or without liver injury. However, I
>failed to find out any possible diagnostic advantage of this marker
>over a conventional marker such as ALT, AST and g-GTP.  I felt that
>g-GTP was far better from view points of sensitivity and accuracy. I
>appreciate to have some suggestions from netters on the marker, if any
>other opinion. There is really an increasing social demand to have an
>objective diagnostic marker of excessive drinking in particular in this
>sugisaki at ppp.bekkoame.or.jp (H. Sugisaki)

I have been involved in alcohol abuse markers over the past several years, comparing 
enzymes (ggt etc) with CDT, Beta-Hexosaminidase and Hemoblobin Acetaldehyde. GGT is 
actually a relative poor marker (sens in the mid 60s) but no one of the others are much 
better. Sometimes the best results achived are through the use of a combination of markers.

I think that problems seen with these markers are related to the wide variety of individual 
physiological reaction to alcohol consumption, the wide variability of drinking patterns, the 
broad definition of abuse and the variability of the indicators themselves. One person may 
show elevations of one marker over the other but it is not predictive of the results of that 
marker for another subject.

An other problem of some of the newer markers are the developmental stage of the 
technology available to perform the tests. No gold standard, fuzzy cutoffs and unclear 
interpretations confuse the issue even more.

There is a lot of literature out there (especially from the Nordic countries) but I don't think it 
will reduce your confusion. Speciality Labs in California are doing alot of work with CDT. You 
could contact them for some further information. Good Luck.


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