Fatty acid ethyl esters are present in human serum after ethanol ingestion

K. M. Doyle, D. A. Bird, S. Al-Salihi, Y. Hallaq, J. E. Cluette-Brown, K. A. Goss, M. Laposata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to determine whether fatty acid ethyl esters, nonoxidative products of ethanol metabolism selectively present in organs damaged by ethanol abuse, are detectable in the serum after ethanol ingestion. Serum samples of hospital emergency room patients with positive (n = 32) and negative (n = 5) blood ethanol levels were assayed for fatty acid ethyl esters. In a separate study, five healthy subjects received an ethanol dose based on body weight mixed with fruit juice in a 1:2 ratio and administered by measured ingestion. Fatty acid ethyl esters were found in the serum of hospital emergency room patients with positive blood ethanol levels. The concentration of fatty acid ethyl esters in these patients correlated with the concentration of blood ethanol (r = 0.57; 95% confidence interval 0.28 to 0.77; P = 0.0002). In the controlled ethanol ingestion study with five healthy subjects, it was also determined that the serum fatty acid ethyl ester concentration began to decrease within 2 h of the time ethanol ingestion had been stopped. The fatty acid ethyl esters in the serum were bound to lipoprotein and albumin, and there was a higher percentage of saturated fatty acids in the FAEE pool than in the serum free fatty acid and triglyceride pools. These studies indicate that fatty acid ethyl esters, which have been implicated as mediators of ethanol-induced organ toxicity, are present in serum after ethanol ingestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-437
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • albumin
  • alcohol
  • lipoproteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fatty acid ethyl esters are present in human serum after ethanol ingestion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this