Fatty liver is a multifactorial condition associated to lifestyle, where metabolic factors and/or alcohol consumption significantly contribute. However, current routine diagnostics cannot determine alcohol consumption in these patients.
The Forensic Toxicology service of the Laboratoire national de santé (LNS), led by Dr Michel Yegles together with scientists from the university of Vienna, Salzburg and Linz and from Drogencheck institute from Ulm have participated in a study performing a prospective observational study where hair and urine ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a metabolite of alcohol, were analyzed for the diagnosis of harmful alcohol intake in patients with presumed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD).
Authors found that 28.6% of patients with presumed NAFLD and 25.0% with MAFLD classified as repeated moderate to excessive alcohol consumers, with hair EtG showing the highest diagnostic accuracy.
Thus, hair EtG represents a precise non-invasive tool for determining alcohol consumption in patients with fatty liver disease for routine diagnostic work-up.