Exhaled markers of inflammation allow completely noninvasive monitoring of inflammation and oxidative stress in the respiratory tract in inflammatory lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and interstitial lung diseases. Such noninvasive techniques are simple to perform, may be repeated frequently and can be applied in children, including neonates and patients with severe disease in whom more invasive procedures are not possible. Several volatile chemicals can be measured in the breath (nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons), and many nonvolatile molecules (mediators, oxidation and nitration products, proteins) may be measured in exhaled breath condensate.
National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK
Correspondence to Dr Sergei A. Kharitonov, MD, PhD, Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY, UK. Tel: +44 0207 8121 ext. 0025; fax: +44 0207 351 8126; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbreviations CF: cystic fibrosis CO: carbon monoxide COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease NO: nitric oxide NOS: nitric oxide synthase PCD: primary ciliary dyskinesia