Background: Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption increases oxidative stress. We previously found that levels of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative DNA damage, are elevated in alcohol-dependent patients without delirium tremens (DTs). The aim of this study was to compare serum 8-OHdG levels between alcohol-dependent patients with and without DTs. Methods: We recruited 16 alcohol-dependent patients with DTs (DTs group) and 58 patients without DTs (non-DTs group). Alcohol withdrawal severity was evaluated using the Chinese version of the revised Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol Scale (CIWA-Ar-C) every 8 hours. Serum levels of 8-OHdG and other biological indices were assayed at baseline and after 1 week of detoxification. Results: The mean 8-OHdG level in the DTs group was significantly higher than that in the non-DTs group (0.50 vs. 0.34 ng/ml, p < 0.001). A significant correlation was found between the highest CIWA-Ar-C scores and serum 8-OHdG levels (β = 0.43, p = 0.001) in the non-DTs group, but not in the DTs group (β = 0.34, p = 0.19). An area under receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.83 suggests that 8-OHdG levels potentially differentiate patients with DTs from those without DTs. After dividing the patients into quartiles by 8-OHdG level, we found that compared to the patients in the third and fourth quartiles, the patients in the highest quartile had an odds ratio of 24.1 (p < 0.001) to have DTs, while those in the second highest quartile had an odds ratio of 3.5 (p = 0.19). Serum 8-OHdG levels did not significantly change after 1 week of detoxification in either group. Conclusions: Alcohol-dependent patients with DTs have higher serum 8-OHdG levels than those without DTs, suggesting that higher oxidative stress carries a greater risk of the occurrence of DTs.
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38(10), 2523-2528