Targeted on-line breath analysis discriminates COPD patients vs. healthy controls and subjects suffering from asthma

Targeted on-line breath analysis discriminates COPD patients vs. healthy controls and subjects suffering from asthma

Y. Nussbaumer-Ochsner, M.T. Gaugg, L. Bregy, A. Engler, S. A. Sophie, T. Gaisl, P. M-L Sinues, M. Kohler, R. Zenobi

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Abstract

Introduction: Recently we found markers in exhaled breath discriminating patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from healthy controls using real-time mass spectrometry. The aim of this study was to validate the previously found disease specific metabolic profile of COPD in an independent cohort of patients suffering from chronic obstructive lung disease, i.e. COPD, asthma, or healthy controls using real-time mass spectrometry (validation study).

Method: Breath analysis was performed on-line in patients suffering from COPD or asthma and healthy subjects using secondary electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (SESI-MS). The previously reported COPD specific mass spectrometric exhaled breath pattern was then analysed in this new cohort with respect to statistical significance and classification performance.

Results: Breath analysis was performed in a total of 133 subjects (COPD 49, asthma 31, healthy controls 53). Using this independent, more heterogeneous cohort, we were able to reproduce and validate our previous findings.Many of the COPD specific markers that were reported in the previous study were also significantly altered in this new dataset (figure) and allowed for discrimination between COPD patients and asthma/healthy controls.

Conclusions: These preliminary results confirm our recent finding that breath analysis by real-time mass spectrometry allows the identification of mass-spectral features discriminating COPD patients from an independent cohort of asthmatics and healthy controls with good accuracy. Thus untargeted real-time mass spectrometry seems to be an easily applicable method which allows to identify subjects with COPD.

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