SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Poster Session 3 Thursday October 8, 1998

Frank K. Martens, Bart Lepla and Luc Van Linthout*

Department of Forensic Toxicology, Laboratory CAZK Groeninghe,Campus St Niklaaskliniek Houtmarkt 33, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium.
* Belgian Road Safety Institute, Haachtse steenweg 1405, 1130 Brussel, Belgium.

This experiment was set up to follow alcohol kinetics in the mouth cavity, breath and blood by performing many analyses on some individuals of which one had an antrum resection. Three healthy test persons had an intraveneous catheter from which blood could be drawn at short intervals. The Belgian Road Safety Institute put a calibrated Breath Analyzer Seres 679 TB at our disposal. In the first range of experiments (1995) a dilution of pure alcohol was given in a constant volume to all test persons.

In a second experiment (1996 and 1997) some modifications were made: the dose of alcohol was expressed in gram per kilogram of body mass and the test person was administered a fixed volume of beverage consisting of different concentrations of jenever in beer. Doses of 0.3 and 0.6 grams of alcohol per kg body weight were administered before and after a meal. Immediately thereafter a blood sample was drawn and a breath analysis was performed every three minutes. All data were collected and absorption-elimination curves were plotted. Special attention was paid to mouth alcohol.

Main conclusions
Mouth alcohol decreases following first order kinetcs and the rate is dependant on the kind of beverage. Alcohol from whisky disappears more slowly than alcohol from beer. Mouth alcohol is completely eliminated after flushing the mouth at least 10 times with 20 mL of water. Alcohol on a fasting stomach can cause pylorus spasms which slows down the absorption process. In the test person with slow stomach emptying in the fasting state, we did not notice a significant change in absorption rate after taking a meal. On the contrary, in this particular case, absorption was even faster.

The patient who underwent a resection of the antrum showed no absorption curve. Transit to the intestine was so rapid that Cmax was reached within 3 min.

In these patients the elimination curve shows very clear Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Under no circumstances may the BAC be calculated from the BrAC by using a fixed ratio as 2100 for the US and 2300 for Belgium. In fact, the ratio varies for every individual and varies in time for the same individual. Also the speed of drinking and the kind of beverage influences the ratio.

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