Micro anion exchange chromatography of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin in serum in relation to alcohol consumption (Swedish Patent 8400587-5)

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1986 Oct;10(5):535-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1986.tb05138.x.


A new simplified and rapid method for detection and quantitation of "carbohydrate-deficient transferrin" in serum is described. The method is based on isocratic anion exchange chromatography of isotransferrins in disposable microcolumns followed by a double antibody transferrin radioimmune assay. This technique, which separates all transferrin components isoelectric above pH 5.65, showed a very good reproducibility and accuracy with a coefficient of variation between 5 and 9%. 77 alcoholic patients could be clearly separated from 80 healthy "normal consumers" and 33 total abstainers with a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 91%. The values were significantly correlated to the amount of alcohol consumed during the latest month, and declined in abstaining alcoholics with a mean biological half-life of 17 days. Elevated levels occasionally appeared in healthy individuals after daily consumption of 60 g of ethanol during a 10-day period. In a sample of 187 patients with nonalcohol-related conditions only 2% false-positive values were found. This method is suggested as a potential tool for detecting and monitoring alcohol abuse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcoholism / blood*
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunodiffusion
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Transferrin / analysis*


  • Transferrin