Researchers based at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí (Mexico) have recently reported the results of a pilot study in which 23 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and 33 healthy volunteers were involved. The results indicate that the analytical method developed could be a useful tool to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as biomarkers in exhaled breath from COPD patients.
The team report their newly developed analytical method in Biomedical Chromatography. Exhalation breathing tests were performed with Tedlar gas sampling bags and each sample was analyzed using an ultrafast gas chromatography system equipped with an electronic nose detector.
The results of the pilot study demonstrated that the ultrafast chromatographyelectronic nose system was successfully able to identify 17 VOCs that distinguish COPD patients from healthy volunteers.
During the analysis of the results, raw data were reduced by principle component analysis and canonical discriminant analysis, discrimination between the groups was obvious at all stages. Chemical prints obtained from analysis of the exhaled breath samples were correctly classified up to 82% and were matched with 79% of the VOCs detected in exhaled breath samples.
The team suggest that the ultrafast gas chromatography electronic nose system may be a useful tool to identify VOCs as biomarkers in exhaled breath from COPD patients but conclude that further studies should be performed to enhance the clinical relevance of this new method for COPD diagnosis.
Source: Rodríguez‐Aguilar M, Ramírez‐García S, Ilizaliturri‐Hernández C et al. Ultrafast gas chromatography coupled to electronic nose to identify volatile biomarkers in exhaled breath from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: A pilot study. Biomed Chromatogr. doi: 10.0.3.234/bmc.4684 (2019)(Epub ahead of print)