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Analytical Methods For Breath Investigation

T. Ligor
Published 2009 · Chemistry

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Breath analysis is a non-invasive, painless and attractive diagnostic method without risk to the patients. It has been recommended as a convenient and complementary method for blood and urine analysis. Despite the advantages, breath analysis has not been introduced to medical diagnosis. Only few specific breath tests are available: ethanol in breath after alcohol ingestion, detection of 13CO2 for diagnosis of H. pylori, NO test for evaluation of asthma and capnography, which is commonly used in intensive care and anesthesia. However, there has been an increase, notice in the interest of exhaled breath analysis, especially for the purpose of early cancer diagnosis. It is mainly the result of chromatographic methods development, which has been achieved in the last twenty years. The up-to-date methods of separation and detection of volatile organic compounds allow for achieving low detection limits and high precision of measurements. Sample pre-concentration methods, such as solid sorbents combined with thermal desorption or solid phase microextraction, also have significant importance. Great expectations are also connected with the development of techniques allowing on-line monitoring of breath, directly at the patient bed. This review depicts the issues connected with breath analysis. The main focus has been placed on technical and apparatus aspects. Analytical procedures concerning sample taking, Pre-concentration and analytical techniques have been also discussed.
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