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Ultra-rapid rate of ethanol elimination from blood in drunken drivers with extremely high blood-alcohol concentrations
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Chemistry.
2008 (English)In: International journal of legal medicine (Print), ISSN 0937-9827, E-ISSN 1427-1596, Vol. 122, no 2, 129-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The rate of alcohol elimination from blood was determined in drunken drivers by taking two blood samples about 1 h apart. These cases were selected because the individuals concerned had reached an extremely high blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) when they were apprehended. This suggests a period of continuous heavy drinking leading to the development of metabolic tolerance. Use of double blood samples to calculate the elimination rate of alcohol from blood is valid provided that drunken drivers are in the post-absorptive phase of the BAC curve, the time between sampling is not too short, and that zero-order elimination kinetics operates. Evidence in support of this came from other drunken drivers in which three consecutive blood samples were obtained at hourly intervals. The mean BAC (N=21) was 4.05 g/l (range, 2.71-5.18 g/l), and the average rate of alcohol elimination from blood was 0.33 g l-1 h -1 with a range of 0.20-0.62 g l-1 h-1. The possibility of ultra-rapid rates of ethanol elimination from blood in drunken drivers having extremely high BAC deserves to be considered in forensic casework, e.g., when retrograde extrapolations and other blood-alcohol calculations are made. The mechanism accounting for more rapid metabolism is probably related to induction of the microsomal enzyme (CYP2E1) pathway for ethanol oxidation, as one consequence of continuous heavy drinking. However, the dose of alcohol and the duration of drinking necessary to boost the activity of CYP2E1 enzymes in humans have not been established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 122, no 2, 129-134 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult *Automobile Driving Central Nervous System Depressants/blood/*pharmacokinetics Chromatography, Gas Ethanol/blood/*pharmacokinetics Female Forensic Toxicology Humans Male Middle Aged Sex Factors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-43354DOI: 10.1007/s00414-007-0181-7Local ID: 73629OAI: diva2:264213
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-03-21

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Jones, A Wayne
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