Ethanol - breath

Last updated: Thursday, 08, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

Expired air blown directly into instrument.

Method

Spectrophotometry.

The result is usually provided as a blood level, less commonly as the actual concentration in expired air.

Reference Interval

Not detected in the absence of ethanol ingestion.

ApplicationUsed as a screening test for ethanol ingestion.
Interpretation

If a positive result is of possible clinical significance, it is necessary to collect a blood specimen as the blood level estimated from a breath specimen may be inaccurate.

Reference

Cook JD. Clin Biochem 2003; 36(1): 9-19.