New York: Liver transplant recipients who relapse to alcohol have a poorer survival rate than abstinent patients, medical evidence suggests.
Now, new research confirms that a urinary ethyl glucuronide (uEtG) test accurately detects alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and recipients.
"Assessing alcohol consumption is crucial in the selection of liver transplant candidates," said Paolo Angeli of Italy's University of Padova.
Equally important is the ability to detect alcohol use in liver transplant recipients so early intervention for alcohol relapse can take place, he added.
The study suggests that a combination of uEtG and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for alcohol consumption (AUDIT-c) are best in alerting doctors to alcohol consumption by patients undergoing evaluation for liver transplantation or who have received liver transplants.
Studies suggest that up to 49 percent of liver transplant recipients struggle with alcohol relapse, which may cause complications with the graft.
In fact, medical evidence found that transplant recipients who relapse have a poorer survival rate than abstinent patients.
For the present study, participants provided blood and urine samples at each visit to detect all alcohol markers.
Researchers detected alcohol consumption in 31 percent of participants, with uEtG found to be the strongest marker of alcohol use.
uEtG was also more accurate in predicting the amount of alcohol consumption.
The findings were published in the journal Liver Transplantation.