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Evidence based survey of the distribution volume of ethanol: Comparison of empirically determined values with anthropometric measures
Abertay Univ, Scotland.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Abertay Univ, Scotland.
Principal Forens Serv, England.
2019 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, E-ISSN 1872-6283, Vol. 294, p. 124-131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Widmark equation is commonly used when blood alcohol calculations are required in forensic and legal medicine, such as in road-traffic cases and alcohol-related deaths. An important biological variable in this connection is the volume of distribution (V-d) of ethanol, which is commonly referred to as the rho-factor. Although a persons V-d can be determined empirically through controlled drinking experiments, this approach is not very practical in reality. For this reason, a number of anthropometric equations have been developed that utilize sex, age, height and weight to estimate the persons total body water (TBW) and hence V-d of ethanol. To date, there are not any studies that compare V-d derived from anthropometric data with robust values measured empirically. From the literature we compiled information about the V-d of ethanol from drinking studies with 173 Caucasian males and 63 Caucasian females from Western Europe. These empirically derived values of V-d were then compared with estimates derived from various anthropometric equations. In males the Watson, Watson and Batt regression equation involving age, height and weight gave the most accurate results (bias was 0.00 L/kg) and 95% range +/- 0.13 L/kg. The equation derived by Forrest, which took into consideration a persons body mass index (BMI), gave the best estimates of V-d for females; mean bias -0.01 L/kg and range +/- 0.15 L/kg. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD , 2019. Vol. 294, p. 124-131
Keywords [en]
Blood-alcohol; BMI; Drunken driving; Volume of distribution; Total body water; Widmark equation
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153964DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.10.033ISI: 000454861200024PubMedID: 30553124OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-153964DiVA, id: diva2:1281549
Available from: 2019-01-22 Created: 2019-01-22 Last updated: 2019-01-22

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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