Q: What is Ethyl Glucuronide?
A: Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) is a direct metabolite
of alcohol produced by the body only when alcohol is consumed. Its
presence is formed in the liver, by combining alcohol natural glucuronic
acid. Depending on the quantities consumed, new testing technologies
lets us detect this metabolite in urine for several days after the
Q: Why Should We Introduce EtG Screening to Our Program?
A: EtG tests can help your program because
it helps you uncover the truth.
- EtG is a unique biological marker of alcohol use.
- The detection window is up to 5-7 times longer than an alcohol test
- Scientifically valid/therapeutically beneficial
- EtG is not detected in the urine of abstinent subjects, making
this test ideal for zero tolerance and abstinence situations
- EtG is not formed by fermentation
- Can be used in an alcohol treatment environment
- Early warning mechanism to detect trends toward relapse
- Great pricing and fast turnaround: 24 hours from receipt of
- Tests performed by state of the art equipment: immunoassay GC/MS and LC/MS/MS
- EtG can be included as part of an existing drug panel using
the same specimen
- Results are available online, by fax or mail.
Q: How long does EtG stay in the system before it is detected?
A: Alcohol is metabolized by the liver at a rate of 1.5 oz (one shot, 12 oz beer or glass of wine) per hour. Therefore, alcohol in a urine specimen may be detected for an hour or two for each drink consumed. For example, an individual starts drinking 12 oz beers at 6:00 p.m. and one beer per hour, (6 beers) until 12 o'clock midnight. In most cases, alcohol would be detected in urine no longer than 6:00 a.m. to maybe 10:00 a.m. the next day (with first urine of the day). That is at best, 6 to 10 hours after the last drink.
The test for EtG can detect consumption 5 to 7 times longer than the alcohol test.
Regarding the example above, the individual who drank 6 beers the night before, who voided before he/she came to the collection site at 11:30 the next morning, probably would get away with his/her drinking the night before.
The EtG screen would most likely detect the above drinking for 30 to 42 hours, or longer, after the last drink.
Q: Are EtG Results Reliable?
A: Yes. Using immunoassay screening and GC/MS or LC/MS/MS technology, the
EtG test is highly specific for alcohol use. EtG is a direct metabolite
of alcohol (ethanol) and its detection in urine is highly specific.
We use a cut off of 500ng/ml to determine use.
Q: Does hot weather cause EtG in a urine specimen to breakdown?
A: It is highly recommended that specimens not being shipped to the lab that day be refrigerated. We have observed
that specimens kept at room temperature lost all EtG content within 5-7 days. Cooled or frozen samples retained original EtG content for several weeks.
Q: Why do you use a cutoff of 500ng/ml?
A: Several laboratories have been marketing EtG tests that can detect alcohol consumption after three to five days. To make this claim, they must test for EtG at very low levels, such as 100ng/ml.
There are two problems with this:
1) There have been many complaints regarding false positive results for alcohol consumption due to the low screening level for EtG. It seems that, and has been shown that, many ordinary every day products such as household cleaners, hand cleaners, mouth wash and over the counter medications that contain alcohol, when used excessively, may cause a positive EtG result when screened under 300 ng/ml.
These same studies have shown that an EtG screen cutoff level at 500 ng/ml will not cause a positive EtG result due to innocent exposure to alcohol, and is the recommended cutoff level to screen for EtG.
2) In order to screen at 100 ng/ml, you must use highly sophisticated instrumentation to do the screen properly. The procedure is very time consuming and costly. Ammon now offers an EtG screen at 500 ng/ml for just about the same price of a typical drug screen. This EtG screen has been verified by GC/MS and LC/MS/MS, and was observed to be over 98% accurate by GC/MS, which is typical for most other immunoassay drug screens.
Q: How can I get more information on EtG?
A: Call your Ammon Analytical Laboratory representative
at 877-969-0004. Existing clients can add EtG as part of their existing
To review tests you can choose for various applications, click
For a chart of drugs, cut-off levels and detection times, click