The presentation comprises of a brief introduction regarding the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, its impact globally and the timely apparition of serum CDT.

Serum total CDT was an improvement over traditional markers but had its pitfalls and limitations, until its path towards standardisation through the IFCC CDT Working group manifested and its evolution to CDT-IFCC.

Upon its recognition to being a very specific marker for chronic excessive alcohol consumption, CDT-IFCC is a valuable marker in both clinical (for example, primary care, psychiatry, lifestyle drinking, antenatal first trimester and emergency departments) and forensic settings (for example, driver licensing, aviation, locomotion, and maritime).

Capillary electrophoresis is the commercial alternative separation technique, which aims to mirror the IFCC approved standard reference HPLC procedure.

There is a great need to raise awareness and educate the importance of CDT-IFCC which is currently the only IFCC approved alcohol marker compared to other upcoming markers and they tend to be associated with short term drinking. CDT-IFCC has a half life of approximately two weeks and makes it an excellent retrospective marker.

The high specificity of CDT-IFCC in the assessment of chronic excessive consumption over traditional markers, its successful standardisation, its uses in both clinical and forensic settings can only indicate that it is ‘time for change’, with inclusive use of the marker by diagnostic service centres and increasing requests by their clients. Collaboration by diagnostic laboratories, local authorities, psychiatrists, primary cares, and CDT manufacturers would be a good approach to promote demand and uptake for CDT-IFCC.


Jean Deenmamode
CDT Working Group Chair @ IFCC

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