To aid in the objective diagnosis of chronic alcohol abuse in both clinical and medico-legal environments, reliable biochemical markers are needed. In addition to the conventional indicators, which include γ-glutamyl transferase, erythrocyte mean corpuscular volume, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) has recently been introduced. According to a reliable body of literature, CDT is the most reliable marker of chronic excessive alcohol intake. CDT is the collective name for minor isoforms of human transferrin, and therefore highly selective and sensitive methods are required for its analysis in serum. Moreover, the need for precise quantification poses additional problems of accuracy and precision. For these purposes, capillary electrophoresis shows excellent potential in terms of quantitative accuracy, precision, speed, automation, economy, and simplicity of operation. The simple, optimized capillary zone electrophoretic analysis of CDT in human serum is discussed in this paper and is compared to the traditional analytical method based on microcolumn ion exchange chromatography followed by immunoassay.
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