CDT Test – What Is It?
13 September, 2023
Traditional screening, Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC tests, and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin or CDT tests are three main ways to determine alcohol presence in the body. A screening requires administrators to rely on the honesty of their patients. BAC tests calculate the level of alcohol in the body system currently. The last method is a test that detects harmful levels of alcohol in the body by drawing blood.
Many professionals rely on CDT because it works better in assessing if their patients drink heavily compared to other types of tests. Moreover, it leads to the awareness of how much at risk individuals are for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Hence, it is necessary to recognize it as early as possible to take appropriate measures, which will help in deviation or recovery. To learn more about the test, the following sections will present its definition, procedure, and advantages.
What is a CDT Test?
Blood alcohol testing is one of the most accurate tests for alcohol. There are various types of it. One of them is a CDT test. Alcohol greatly impacts the CDT. It is the biomarker for chronic alcohol consumption. Moreover, its percentage increases every time people drink. The test determines how much CDT is in the bloodstream.
People who do not drink at all or those who do not drink as much have low CDT levels. On the other hand, heavy drinkers have higher levels compared to them. Hence, medical professionals can identify who the heavy drinkers are. When a person stops drinking, their CDT level goes back to normal within four weeks.
However, there are limitations to using the test. BAC tests can detect current or recent alcohol use. Meanwhile, CDT is effective in detecting alcohol consumption from weeks before testing. Thus, it is something to consider. Also, it is important to speak to a healthcare expert to interpret the results. It also allows them to get the most appropriate treatment.
Reasons for Taking The Test
Here are some of the reasons for CDT testing:
- Personal – They may want to manage their alcohol consumption.
- Family – Concerned parents may be asked to get their children tested to see their history of alcohol.
- Medical – It is a method of seeing how big the risk of AUD is in patients. Healthcare providers may also use the test as a way to check on their progress.
- Professional – Workplaces may require their employees to do it for safety purposes.
- Legal – Those with drink driving offences, especially high-risk offenders, may need to undergo the test to see if they can get their licences back.
The Procedure of a CDT Test
Before anything else, people should consult with their doctors as the process is quite invasive. Once they are cleared, they are tasked to fast, typically the night before testing. It is necessary to go to a hospital or laboratory for CDT tests, or blood tests in general, unlike other types of alcohol tests. This is because the procedure involves drawing blood from the patient.
A nurse or technician should be the one to do it to prevent problems. Medical practitioners commonly collect the blood sample from the arms. After taking the sample, they will analyse it at the laboratory. The detection can go as far back as four weeks of alcohol consumption.
Moreover, they can typically get the result after five days. However, there are cases where it would take up to two weeks. After receiving the results, patients can speak to their healthcare providers again to discuss. The treatment depends on how much alcohol they find. Some people may have to be rehabilitated. Furthermore, they may need to do more of the test for monitoring purposes.
Despite its accuracy, the test may still produce false positive results. It may be due to contamination of the sample and the mishandling of the procedure. Thus, people should make sure that everything is clean, including their skin. They can also ask the technician to ensure that everything is okay before they start for further protection.
Other factors may also affect the result of the blood test. Hence, it is important to know what they are. For instance, pregnant women are advised not to take a test for the whole duration of their pregnancy. Moreover, they should avoid doing it two months after giving birth.
Alternatives to a CDT Test
Many trust a CDT test because of its proven accuracy. However, there are several drawbacks to taking the test. Firstly, not everyone feels comfortable getting their blood drawn. Secondly, it is more expensive than other options. Lastly, the results may take a longer time to produce, unlike other tests. Thus, it is essential to know the alternatives to weigh the pros and cons.
A urine test is a good one because it is not as invasive as a blood test, but they need to collect their urine sample in a container. In serious cases, they may need medical supervision to ensure they are not tampering with the specimen. In addition, it is relatively less expensive than blood tests. People can also receive the results at a faster rate.
They can also do a saliva test. It is also a non-invasive method. Technicians will get the sample from the inside of their cheeks. It provides rapid results, making it suitable for people who need to see their results immediately. It may not be used as much as others, but it works.
How a Personal Breathalyser Can Help
One more alternative is a breath test. Some people would like to check their alcohol level regularly. However, that is not physically possible with the blood and other tests. Hence, they can opt for this instead. They can buy their breathalyser and bring it wherever they go.
It would be easier to manage their drinking if they set a goal and see if they meet it. They do not have to worry about accuracy as brands like BACtrack from Breathalysers Australia offer devices that are on par with what police officers use. Also, they have ones that can connect to Bluetooth.
CDT test is the process of drawing blood to know how much alcohol a person consumes. It lets them know this by detecting the amount of CDT in the bloodstream. It is most effective for heavy drinkers. Hence, authorities use the method on people with drink driving offences to see if they can safely be on the road again. They also use it to check the progress of those who cannot control their intake.
Meanwhile, there are alternatives for people who are not comfortable with blood tests. There are urine, saliva, and breath tests. A breath tester is a good tool for monitoring their alcohol consumption. Moreover, it is useful in making sure that individuals are safe to drive as they can check their BAC before going. However, it is important to note that people who refuse required blood tests by law enforcement may face more penalties.