Urinary concentrations of ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate as thresholds to determine potential ethanol-induced alteration of steroid profiles

Drug Test Anal. Nov-Dec 2011;3(11-12):851-6. doi: 10.1002/dta.396.


The suppression of steroid biotransformation resulting in a decrease of the major urinary metabolites--androsterone and etiocholanolone--and the elevation of testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratios following ethanol administration is well described. At least the latter parameter T/E represents an important indicator for endogenous steroid abuse in doping control. The quantitative correlation between ethanol consumption markers and steroid profile alteration was evaluated, aiming to differentiate between permitted ethanol administration and potential steroid abuse. Steroid profiles, ethanol, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and sulfate (EtS) were quantified after administration of ethanol (intended maximum ethanol concentration in blood was 1 mg/g) to 21 male and 15 female volunteers. EtG concentrations in urine (corrected by either specific gravity or creatinine concentration) were found to be most suitable for quantitative evaluations. Gender specific urinary EtG concentrations of 48 ug/ml (men) and 15.5 ug/ml (women) may be considered as useful thresholds for a potential ethanol-induced suppression of steroids biotransformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / metabolism*
  • Alcohol Drinking / urine*
  • Female
  • Glucuronates / urine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Steroids / metabolism*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters / urine*


  • Glucuronates
  • Steroids
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters
  • ethyl glucuronide
  • diethyl sulfate