Accelerated ethanol elimination via the lungs

Ethanol poisoning is endemic the world over. Morbidity and mortality depend on blood ethanol levels which in turn depend on the balance between its rates of absorption and clearance. Clearance of ethanol is mostly at a constant rate via enzymatic metabolism. We hypothesized that isocapnic hyperpnea (IH), previously shown to be effective in acceleration of clearance of vapour anesthetics and carbon monoxide, would also accelerate the clearance of ethanol.

In this proof-of-concept pilot study, five healthy male subjects were brought to a mildly elevated blood ethanol concentration (~ 0.1%) and ethanol clearance monitored during normal ventilation and IH on different days. IH increased elimination rate of ethanol in proportion to blood levels, increasing the elimination rate more than three-fold. Increased veno-arterial ethanol concentration differences during IH verified the efficacy of ethanol clearance via the lung.

These data indicate that IH is a nonpharmacologic means to accelerate the elimination of ethanol by superimposing first order elimination kinetics on underlying zero order liver metabolism. Such kinetics may prove useful in treating acute severe ethanol intoxication.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Klostranec, J.M.; Vucevic, D.; Crawley, A.P.; Venkatraghavan, L.; Sobczyk, O.; Duffin, J.; Sam, K.; Holmes, R.; Fedorko, L.; Mikulis, D.J.; Fisher, J.A.

  • Issue: Sci Rep . 2020 Nov 12;10(1):19249
  • Published Date: 2020 Nov 12
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

Read 230 times

Contact us

We love your feedback. Get in touch with us.

  • Tel: +32 (0)2 230 99 70
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.