Pharmacokinetics of Phosphatidylethanol 16:0/20:4 in Human Blood After Alcohol Intake

Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, John D. Roache, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Tara E. Karns-Wright, Donald M. Dougherty, Jesus J. Sanchez, Wouter Koek, Martin A. Javors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to characterize the pharmacokinetics of the phosphatidylethanol (PEth) 16:0/20:4 homolog in uncoagulated human blood samples taken from 18 participants in a clinical laboratory setting after consumption of 2 standard doses of ethanol (EtOH). Methods: Male and female participants received either 0.4 or 0.8 g/kg oral doses of EtOH during a 15-minute period. Blood samples were collected before and throughout 6 hours immediately after alcohol administration and then again at days 2, 4, 7, 11, and 14 of the follow-up period. PEth 16:0/20:4 levels were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Results: (i) The increase in PEth 16:0/20:4 from baseline to maximum concentration was less than that of PEth 16:0/18:1 or PEth 16:0/18:2 homologs during the 6-hour period after EtOH administration; (ii) the mean half-life of PEth 16:0/20:4 was 2.1 ± 3 (SD) days, which was shorter than the mean half-life of either PEth 16:0/18:1 or PEth 16:0/18:2, 7.6 ± 3 (SD) or 6.8 ± 4 (SD) days, respectively. Conclusions: The pharmacokinetics of PEth 16:0/20:4 in whole blood samples is detectable after alcohol consumption and differs in amount synthesized and rate of elimination versus PEth 16:0/18:1 and 16:0/18:2. Measuring the concentrations of these 3 homologs has the potential to provide more information about the amount and time frame of alcohol consumption than any one alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2094-2099
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Alcohol
  • Blood
  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Phosphatidylethanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology


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