Other causes of failed PEth test for alchohol abuse?

Posted by gjones1956 @gjones1956, Nov 14, 2017

My daughter undergoes periodic peth testing for alchohol abuse. She fails regularly, although swears she drinks NOTHING. We have reason to believe she is telling the truth. Assuming she is indeed not drinking, is there a physical condition or ailment that might produce positive peth tests? She is 29, has enlarged lymph nodes, some kind of mysterious condition that gives her severe hives, etc. We are wondering if some type of autoinflammation or autoimmune condition might explain elevated levels. Our daughter is FINALLY discussing this with her regular doctor but if it is some unusual condition a specialist will be needed. The reason the peth test is required is due to a nasty custody dispute with lots of allegations of misconduct. I just want to know if there is ANYTHING other than alchohol consumption that can lead to positive test results. Any thoughts or knowledge of cases? Thanks for reading.

Documents sent to Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump pertaining to misuse and abuse of these tests by professional monitoring programs and licensing boards: bit.ly/2HMnAgN and bit.ly/2JPzubQ


Documents sent to Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump pertaining to misuse and abuse of these tests by professional monitoring programs and licensing boards: bit.ly/2HMnAgN and bit.ly/2JPzubQ

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HI folks!

A little late to this party, my false positive came a year ago may. Like so many here, backed up with numerous time appropriate follow on PeTH and etg hair tests that are all negative. I have no idea even of a source of incidental exposure.

I was in an abstinence program, another story fraught with fraud waste and abuse, so was offered relapse treatment, 100 days inpatient, but refused because I did not relapse, and was fired from a major airline. Awaiting arbitration, as that's the only due process allowed a unionized employee. As for a union helping, well, think again. They are not and recommended I go to the relapse treatment. And even have some pilots on a contract that removes their right to grieve! So they get fired with NO recourse.

Bad PeTH test was collected by anylab in Atlanta, processed by USDTL. A follow on test from them was negative, as was a follow on processed on whole blood from lab Corp I think.

As for post collection synthesis, absolutely possible. The manufacturer of the blood spot cards specifically states waiting a minimum of two hours before the specimen is sealed in a plastic bag. If your blood ferments on that card, and there's PLD in that blood spot, then PeTH is gonna be formed. It's not called a DRIED blood spot for nothing.

I have a lawyer and 4 forensic toxicologists working on the matter, what better way to spend my 401k….

There are many other pilots in my position, but none have grieved it that I know of.

At the end of my arbitration I'm willing to share any and all of the forensic reports I collect. Surely they can help someone.


Fair enough @fairlaneowner, I just wasn't sure if the red blood cells in the sample would react with the alcohol from the swab and create the PEth byproduct outside the body. Just a thought. I attached some information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin that has some interesting information on biomarkers including PEth test.

I still am waiting for my appointment with my provider who ordered the PEth test. The information in the SAMHSA brochure, which was directly referenced on my lab report, states that a single biomarker should not be damming and taken into context with other tests for a solid picture. This literature even says false positives are "unlikely but still unknown due to paucity of research".

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Nope, but any sugar in the blood can ferment, and that can react with any PLD in the blood, and viola, PeTH. There are lots of research papers where they mention getting inconsistent results from folks who were currently intoxicated at the time of the test due to actual alcohol still being in the blood. They mention using a PLD inhibitor to stabilize the readings.

That's also why it's very important to allow the blood to dry before sealing it up for a DBS (dried blood spot) collection method to stop any enzymatic activity.

In whole blood they also mention freezing it right away to prevent enzymatic activity.

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