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Test Code 1002 Ethanol, Plasma

Performing Laboratory

Barnes-Jewish Hospital Laboratory


Alcohol Dehydrogenase Ultraviolet (UV)

Literature References:
Package insert: Ethanol. Roche Diagnostics, 2011.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen Type: Plasma

Container/Tube: 1 mint green-top (lithium or sodium heparin) tube

Specimen Volume: Full tube



Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday
Turnaround Time:
STAT: 1 hour after receipt in the laboratory
Routine: results available the day of testing

Reference Values

<10 mg/dL

If ethanol is the only drug taken, the blood level can be roughly correlated with the clinical findings:

0-100 mg/dL (subclinical)
100-200 mg/dL (emotional instability)
150-300 mg/dL (confusion)
250-400 mg/dL (stupor)
350-500 mg/dL (coma)

≥500 mg/dL (possible death)

Critical value (automatic call-back): ≥300 mg/dL

Literature Reference:

Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry. 3rd ed. WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1999:922-3.

Test Classification and CPT Coding


Additional Information

For BJH Laboratory Use Only
Alternate Tube:

1 full, blue-top (citrate) tube

1 dark green-top (lithium or sodium heparin) tube

1 full, grey-top (potassium oxalate/sodium fluoride) tube
1 full, lavender-top (EDTA) tube

1 plain red top tube
Separator gel tube is acceptable
Analyte Stability:

Unprocessed specimen may be stored ambient or refrigerated (2° C to 8° C) up to 48 hours. Processed and capped specimen may be stored ambient for 48 hours or refrigerated (2° C to 8° C) up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, specimen should be frozen. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles should be avoided. Ethanol values in uncapped specimens decline at a rate of about 1.7% per hour, an approximate 10% decline in 6 hours.

Laboratory Processing Instructions:

Test performed in BJH Chemistry. Deliver to the Modular station for processing. Completed specimen is stored refrigerated for 1 week.

Specimen Transport Temperature


LOINC Code Information

Name LOINC Code
Ethanol, Plasma 5643-2