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      Exhaled volatile organic compounds discriminate patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from healthy subjects

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic airway inflammatory disease characterized by incompletely reversible airway obstruction. This clinically heterogeneous group of patients is characterized by different phenotypes. Spirometry and clinical parameters, such as severity of dyspnea and exacerbation frequency, are used to diagnose and assess the severity of COPD. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could be detected in the exhaled breath of patients with COPD and whether these VOCs could distinguish COPD patients from healthy subjects. Moreover, we aimed to investigate whether VOCs could be used as biomarkers for classifying patients into different subgroups of the disease. Ion mobility spectrometry was used to detect VOCs in the exhaled breath of COPD patients. One hundred and thirty-seven peaks were found to have a statistically significant difference between the COPD group and the combined healthy smokers and nonsmoker group. Six of these VOCs were found to correctly discriminate COPD patients from healthy controls with an accuracy of 70%. Only 15 peaks were found to be statistically different between healthy smokers and healthy nonsmokers. Furthermore, by determining the cutoff levels for each VOC peak, it was possible to classify the COPD patients into breathprint subgroups. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second, body mass index, and C-reactive protein seem to play a role in the discrepancies observed in the different breathprint subgroups.

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          Human exhaled air analytics: biomarkers of diseases.

          Over the last few years, breath analysis for the routine monitoring of metabolic disorders has attracted a considerable amount of scientific interest, especially since breath sampling is a non-invasive technique, totally painless and agreeable to patients. The investigation of human breath samples with various analytical methods has shown a correlation between the concentration patterns of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the occurrence of certain diseases. It has been demonstrated that modern analytical instruments allow the determination of many compounds found in human breath both in normal and anomalous concentrations. The composition of exhaled breath in patients with, for example, lung cancer, inflammatory lung disease, hepatic or renal dysfunction and diabetes contains valuable information. Furthermore, the detection and quantification of oxidative stress, and its monitoring during surgery based on composition of exhaled breath, have made considerable progress. This paper gives an overview of the analytical techniques used for sample collection, preconcentration and analysis of human breath composition. The diagnostic potential of different disease-marking substances in human breath for a selection of diseases and the clinical applications of breath analysis are discussed. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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              Exhaled markers of pulmonary disease.


                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                23 February 2015
                : 10
                : 399-406
                [1 ]Department of Interventional Pneumology, Ruhrlandklinik, West German Lung Center, University Hospital, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Pneumology, Ruhrlandklinik, University Hospital Essen, University of Essen-Duisburg, Essen, Germany
                [3 ]Division of Thoracic Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [4 ]Oncology Unit, Pulmonary Department, “G Papanikolaou” General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
                [5 ]Faculty of Applied Chemistry, Reutlingen University, Reutlingen, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Paul Zarogoulidis, Pulmonary Department, Oncology Unit, “G. Papanikolaou” General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Exohi 57010, Thessaloniki, Greece, Tel +306977271974, Fax +302310992433, Email pzarog@
                © 2015 Besa et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                breath analysis, copd, ion mobility spectrometry, volatile organic compounds


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