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Key DFM Personnel

Michael Fleming, MD, MPH – Principal Investigator
Bhushan Bhamb, MD – Co-Investigator
Marlon Mundt, MS, MA, PhD – Data Analyst
Andrea Williams, PhD, RN – Trauma Program Manager


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


To assess the clinical utility of Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (%CDT) testing in patients admitted for trauma


Patients admitted for trauma are at high risk for alcohol-related complications such as alcohol withdrawal, post-operative infection, bleeding, respiratory problems and cardiac events. These patients also appear to have longer hospital stays. Blood alcohol levels at admission are of limited value depending on the time of their last drink and many patients with alcohol problems have low blood alcohol levels at admission.


This study will assess the clinical utility of Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (%CDT) testing in patients admitted to UW Hospital for trauma. The primary question of interest is whether elevated CDT levels (>2.5%) are associated with higher rates of hospitalization and surgical complications.


Patients admitted for trauma are approached by a researcher post-admission and asked if they would be interested in study participation. Patients who are too ill to participate within 7 days of admission are not eligible. The 30-minute in-hospital interview asks about tobacco, alcohol and drug use in the past 12 months, current mental health, and current medical problems. A chart review identifies trauma-related events such as infection, bleeding, respiratory problems, alcohol or drug withdrawal, cardiac events, length of hospital stay and hours in intensive care.


CDT is a new alcohol biomarker that stays elevated for 2-3 weeks. If CDT levels are a predictor of complications in patients admitted for trauma, we may be able to reduce some of these complications and improve overall patient care.