Toward standardization of breath sampling methods

K. Westphal 1, D. Dudzik 2, M. Waszczuk-Jankowska 2, B. Graff 1, M.J. Markuszewski 2, K. Narkiewicz 1
1. Department of Hypertension and Diabetology, Medical University of Gdańsk, M. Skłodowskiej-Curie 3a street, 80-210 Gdańsk, Poland
2. Department of Biopharmacy and Pharmacodynamics, Medical University of Gdańsk, Hallera 107 street, 80-416 Gdańsk, Poland

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Breath analysis has interested mankind for centuries, since only by using smell sense it is possible to detected various diseases. With the development of analytical techniques, identification of breath components which might be indicative of any pathological state in human body finally became possible. Despite the fact that breath is considered to be a less complex matrix than blood, it is not commonly employed in development of novel diagnostic and prognostic tools for early detection of disordered conditions, mainly due to its problematic sampling, analysis and storage. Moreover, background concentrations of volatile organic compounds remain an issue and are both produced by regular metabolic processes and derived from environmental exposure, which especially makes breath sampling an advantageous process that requires understanding of exhalation physiology and interfering factors. To overcome these obstacles, we performed the experiment in which Tedlar® bags and Tenax® TA tubes were employed to collect breath samples and several conditions that could alter breath content, such as sample volume, exogenous variables (air pollution, diet) or breathing manner were tested. The results along with literature review were essential to determine guidelines that should be followed when sampling, to ensure its appropriateness and facilitate reliable data collection




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