Determination of phosphatidyl ethanol (PEth) 16:0/18:1 in dried blood samples of drivers involved in traffic accidents: A pilot study

DAĞLIOĞLU N., Ozseker P. E., Dengiz H., KEKEÇ Z.

LEGAL MEDICINE, vol.58, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2022.102091
  • Journal Name: LEGAL MEDICINE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Dried blood samples, PEth16:0/18:1, Traffic accident, LC-MS/MS
  • Ankara University Affiliated: No


In routine forensic toxicology practices, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are measured in traffic accidents that ended up in emergency departments. Nevertheless, since the elimination of ethanol from the blood is fast and the detection time is short, BAC cannot indicate the occurrence of chronic excessive alcohol consumption. Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is a unique ethanol direct biomarker that occurs only in the presence of phospholipase D enzyme in erythrocyte membranes during alcohol intake, and it indicates alcohol intake. In this study, both whole blood and dried blood samples were collected from 50 patients who were admitted to Cukurova University Hospital Emergency Department due to a traffic accident. While studying BAC in whole blood samples, PEth 16:0/18:1 analysis was performed on dried blood samples by LC-MS/MS. According to the BAC (50 mg/dL) value, the legal limit in Turkey, the optimal threshold PEth 16:0/18:1 value was set as 160 ng/mL and over. This study determined that 15 people with above PEth 16:0/18:1 concentrations above 160 ng/mL were classified as excessive alcohol consumption. The data obtained in this study showed a positive correlation between BAC and PEth concentration when driving under the influence of ethanol.