A non-invasive method to measure blood alcohol levels

In a recently published study, two groups of volunteers were asked to drink either water or an alcoholic drink on an hourly basis. All of the participants were equipped with electrodes for measuring bioimpedance. Unlike breathlysers and blood tests, bioimpedance spectroscopy is a non-invasive method to measure alcohol levels in the blood. After each fluid intake, several parameters were obtained making it possible to monitor the participants’ level of drunkenness.

By Michael Czaplik

Current standard techniques for assessing blood alcohol content after alcohol consumption include blood sample analysis and breathalysers. In order to gain in-depth body composition analysis, the method bioimpedance spectroscopy was established, which performs, for example, body-fat analyses. Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) is a safe and easy to use measurement method which measures body composition and determines the amount of fluid in the body.

Since alcohol intake also leads to changes in body composition, researchers investigated whether it is possible to estimate increasing blood alcohol levels during a drinking trial using bioimpedance assessment. The research article was recently published in the journal  Biomedical Engineering/Biomedizinische Technik.

Twenty-one healthy volunteers from Aachen in Germany were assigned to a test or a reference group. After baseline measurements, the test group ingested 120ml of vodka, followed by a resorption phase of 50 min. After which bioimpedance and breath alcohol measurements were performed. Thereafter, 60ml of vodka was ingested and another resorption phase of 50 min was followed by bioimpedance and breath alcohol measurements. This procedure was repeated until alcohol levels exceeded 0.4 mg/l. The reference group performed in the same way with water.

Specific characteristics shown in alcohol-drinking participants
Several parameters obtained from bioimpedance measurement show specific characteristic in patients drinking an alcohol-containing liquid but not water. This should allow for monitoring the drunkenness of an individual.

“As an innovative method, multiple scenario-based designs such as implementation in textiles or chairs are imaginable. These possibilities create plenty of ways to detect potential alcohol abuse,” researcher Michael Czaplik explains.

Non-invasive method
Current techniques for assessing blood alcohol content are either invasive due to blood taking or require the patient’s cooperation when being breathalysed. With the introduction of bioimpedance measurement, intra-individual alcohol-related changes of body composition are now measurable. Using this method, a non-invasive assessment of blood alcohol content is achievable.

Read the Free Access original article here

Michael Czaplik, Mark Ulbrich, Nadine Hochhausen, Rolf Rossaint, Steffen Leonhardt:  Evaluation of a new non-invasive measurement technique based on bioimpedance spectroscopy to estimate blood alcohol content: a pilot study. 27.06.2018

The Editors

Articles signed by the editors were written in a collective effort.

Pin It on Pinterest