Adult & Child Drug Testing Lab

Adult PEth Testing

Dried Blood Spots
Dried blood spot collection is the fastest, most convenient way to test for phosphatidylethanol (PEth)Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)PEth is created in red blood cells where it exists as part of the cell membrane. Research suggests a PEth test can differentiate between incidental exposure (hand sanitizer use, etc.) and the intentional use of ethanol. A PEth test in blood gives up to approximately 2-4 week history of alcohol (ab)use. We offer PEth testing in both dried blood spots and whole blood. The specimen amount is 5 dried blood spots from a finger puncture or 5 ml of blood from a standard blood draw using anticoagulation tube collection.. Standard collection supplies provided include 2 lancets, 2 non-ethanol based alcohol pads, gauze, a collection card, and the dried blood spot drying box. We also provide the requisition form for the collection, which includes all necessary bar code stickers to maintain a proper chain-of-custody. Unlike venipuncture, dried blood spot collection is performed by the individual being tested (the donor) and can be observed by any staff member, after a short training session. The dried blood spot drying box makes collection even easier by eliminating wait time. PEth is an abnormal phospholipid formed in red blood cells following alcohol exposure. PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid to long-term alcohol biomarker, and a positive result (measuring phosphatidylethanol species 16:0/18:1) is an indication of alcohol exposure during the up to approximately 2-4 weeks prior to specimen collection.

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By Phone: 1.800.235.2367

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Monday 6am - 8pm
Tuesday 6am - 8pm
Wednesday 6am - 8pm
Thursday 6am - 8pm
Friday 6am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 5pm

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How do PEth results differ from Urine EtG/EtS results?

Recent studies have indicated that low-level positive EtG results can be produced by certain agents like hand sanitizers and mouth wash (incidental exposure). Research indicates that the volume of alcohol required to trigger a positive PEth result is far above the level available from incidental exposure.


How much blood is required for a PEth testing specimen?

5 individual large drops on a dried blood spot collection card or 5 milliliters of whole blood collected in a gray-top collection tube containing anticoagulant.

What is the length of time that PEth specimens can be stored while still maintaining their integrity?

  • Room Temp = 1 year
  • Refrigerated = 1 year
  • Frozen = 1 year at 20ºC (-4ºF)

What is the window of detection for PEth?

Up to approximately 2-4 weeks depending on the starting concentration of PEth. 

Which phosphatidylethanol species do you measure during PEth testing?

Our PEth testing in dried blood spots measures the 16:0/18:1 PEth species.




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