The alcohol breath test—a review

Michael P. Hlastala
1998 Journal of applied physiology  
Hlastala, Michael P. The alcohol breath test-a review. J. Appl. Physiol. 84(2): 401-408, 1998.-The alcohol breath test (ABT) is evaluated for variability in response to changes in physiological parameters. The ABT was originally developed in the 1950s, at a time when understanding of pulmonary physiology was quite limited. Over the past decade, physiological studies have shown that alcohol is exchanged entirely within the conducting airways via diffusion from the bronchial circulation. This is
more » ... rculation. This is in sharp contrast to the old idea that alcohol exchanges in the alveoli in a manner similar to the lower solubility respiratory gases (O 2 and CO 2 ). The airway alcohol exchange process is diffusion (airway tissue) and perfusion (bronchial circulation) limited. The dynamics of airway alcohol exchange results in a positively sloped exhaled alveolar plateau that contributes to considerable breathing pattern-dependent variation in measured breath alcohol concentration measurements.
doi:10.1152/jappl.1998.84.2.401 pmid:9475843 fatcat:y5wn5d4vhzfunjkbslvr7smc4e