9880-17 Laboratory Aspects of Alcoholism
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Course includes study material and exam. 

Description: This course reviews the topic of alcohol abuse. A review of the chemistry of alcohol metabolism enables an understanding of the effects of alcohol on the body. There are limited laboratory tests available to identify and monitor alcohol consumption but the more recent understanding of biochemistry, genetics and proteomics is opening exciting areas of study.

Course/Activity Information

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define moderate drinking
  • Describe the negative social effects of alcohol abuse
  • Define alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • Describe the indicators and signs evident when a person has a drinking problem
  • Outline the types of questionnaires used to determine that a person might have a drinking problem
  • Discuss in detail use of the following common laboratory tests: ethanol level, Gamma-glutamine transferase (GGT), aspartate-amino transferase (AST), alanine-amino transferase (ALT) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
  • Describe the newer laboratory tests, whole blood associated acetaldehyde (WBAA) and carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT), and their use for identifying alcoholism
  • Outline some of the newer laboratory markers currently under investigation
  • Discuss briefly the current understanding of genetics and proteomics as related to persons with alcohol abuse
  • Describe the current approach to treatment of alcoholism


Author: John Chapman, FCSMLS, FIMLS, CLSp(H)

Version Date: January 2017


PEP hours: 17.6

CPS credits: 0.9

*Note: PEP hours and/or CPS credits will only be awarded upon successful completion of Final Exam.

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