The role of phosphatidylethanol (PEth) as an alcohol consumption marker is increasing in clinical and forensic medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of hygiene increased, and it became common practice to use disinfectants almost everywhere. This paper highlights a possible source of false positive results (by the vapors of alcohols during the blood spot drying process) in dried blood spots (DBS) by LC-MS/MS quantitation of PEth. To achieve this, the PEth quantitation method was validated according to FDA guidelines. Additionally, the synthesis of phosphatidyl derivatives by phospholipase D (PLD) in the presence of methanol and 2-propanol vapors during the DBS process was determined. Each PEth-negative sample from a healthy male patient incubated in the presence of ethanol vapor becomes PEth-positive. After 4 h of DBS drying, teetotalers become “moderate drinkers”. It is necessary to avoid using alcohol-containing disinfectants in treatment rooms, where DBS is sampled.
- alcohol biomarker
- clinical medicine