(Received 17 March 1990; accepted 4 June 1990)
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Healthy men, 20 to 60 years old, drank a moderate dose of ethanol in the morning after an overnight fast. They consumed either neat whisky in amounts corresponding to 0.34, 0.51, 0.68, 0.85, or 1.02 g of ethanol per kilogram of body weight or 0.80 g/kg ethanol solvent diluted with orange juice. The peak blood-ethanol concentration (BEC) increased with the dose administered, but the time required to reach the peak was not markedly influenced over the range of doses studied. At a dose of 0.68 g/kg, the peak BEC ranged from 52 to 136 mg/dL (N = 83), and slow absorption (a late-occurring peak) produced a lower peak BEC. The peak BEC was reached between 0 and 45 min for 77% of the subjects (N = 152) and between 0 and 75 min for 97% of them. The time of peaking in venous blood occurred, on average, 10 min later than in capillary (fingertip) blood although the peak BEC was not appreciably different; the mean venous BEC was 97.0 mg/dL (range, 76 to 112 mg/dL), and the mean capillary BEC was 99.6 mg/dL (range, 75 to 123 mg/dL). When subjects drank 0.80 g/kg ethanol diluted with orange juice over 30 min, the average BEC increment between the end of drinking and the peak was 33 mg/dL (range, 0 to 58 mg/dL). The rate of absorption of ethanol was 1.78 mg/dL/min (range, 0.52 to 4.8 mg/dL/min), and the peak BEC occurred within 60 min after the end of drinking in 92% of the trials. The largest BEC increment (mean, 21 mg/dL; range, 0 to 44 mg/dL) was seen during the first 15 min after the drinking period.
Associate professor, National Laboratory of Forensic Chemistry, University Hospital, Linkoping,
Research technician, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm,
Clinical associate, University Hospital, Linkoping,
Stock #: JFS13040J