We describe an improved method for determination of alcohol dehydrogenase (EC 22.214.171.124) activity in 60 μL of human serum, based on conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde with simultaneous reduction of NAD+ in glycine NaOH buffer (pH 9.0) at 37°C in a centrifugal analyzer. The final concentration of NAD+ was 10 mmol/L and ethanol was 20 mmol/L. The dilution curve was linear with enzyme activity up to 200 U/L, and results by this method correlated well with those by a manual method (N Engl J Med 279: 241-248, 1968). Within-run precision (CV) was 0.9 to 8.2% over the range of 4.5 to 88.1 U/L, and day-to-day precision was 5.4 to 5.6%. In sera from 198 healthy individuals, mean alcohol dehydrogenase activity was 1.6 (SD 1.2, range 0-5) U/L. To evaluate the clinical utility of determining alcohol dehydrogenase, we measured the activity of alanine aminotransferase and alcohol dehydrogenase in sera from 470 patients with various diseases in our hospital, and found that results for the two enzymes did not correlate well.
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