Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT)

The most reliable chronic alcohol abuse marker.

About CDT

Excessive chronic alcohol consumption is a public health problem. Its diagnosis and monitoring will improve clinical outcome, reduce accidents and costs related to alcohol. Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) is the IFCC recommended biomarker for chronic alcohol abuse. CAPI 3 CDT and MINICAP CDT are designed to quantify CDT by capillary electrophoresis on patient serum samples. During analysis, serum transferrin isoforms are separated into five major fractions according to their sialylation level:

  • Asialotransferrin (non-sialylated)
  • Disialotransferrin
  • Trisialotransferrin
  • Tetrasialotransferrin
  • Pentasialotranferrin


CDTIFCC percent value is automatically displayed based on the calibration curve of disialotransferrin.

If CDTIFCC is not implemented, a classic CDT percent value is automatically calculated using the low-sialylated isoforms, i.e., disialotransferrin associated with asialotransferrin (if present).

The interpretation is simple. CDTIFCC greater than 2% are abnormal and indicative of chronic alcohol abuse whereas with classic CDT, results over 1.6%. are abnormal and indicative of chronic alcohol abuse.

Key benefits

Simple, secured and accurate CDT measurement

Normal clinical result : CDTIFCC ≤ 1.7%
Forensic positive result: CDTIFCC > 2%

Reduced hands-on time

Ready to use reagents, no sample pre-treatment and no need for additional total transferrin measurement.

Automatic measurement with visualization of all transferrin isoforms

Potential analytical and genetical interferences (variants, CDG) and curve abnormalities (such as in cirrhotic pattern) can thus be detected and prevent false result reporting.

Scalable solution to fit all lab’s configuration

CDT is available on MINICAP and CAPILLARYS family offering multiple configurations for streamlined workflow.

Yearly IFCC
certification renewal
Yearly IFCC
certification renewal

Main characteristics

Test Principle
  • CAPI 3 CDT – MINICAP CDT assays are based on the principle of capillary electrophoresis in free solution. Transferrin isoforms are separated in silica capillaries by their electrophoretic mobility and the electroosmotic flow at high voltage in an alkaline buffer. Transferrin isoforms are directly detected during migration by UV absorbance.


  • All analysis steps are performed automatically. The sample dilution is done using a specific diluent allowing iron saturation.
Sample Type

Serum sample is needed to perform CDT test. In the context of forensic use, the serum sample unlike hair and urine, can ensure the integrity, the reliability of the analysis and avoid possible fraud.


    Throughput (tests/hour)*


CAPILLARYS 3 OCTA                        49

CAPILLARYS 3 TERA                          73

CAPILLARYS 3 TERA MC3                 179

MINICAP FLEX-PIERCING                  10


* Using Software version 9.30


  • Full traceability and positive ID for samples and reagents
  • Rapid validation through color-coded profiles using the mosaic screen
Product details
  • CAPI 3 CDT – P/N: 2509
  • MINICAP CDT – P/N: 2208