Dynamic profiles of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath as determined by a coupled PTR-MS/GC-MS study.


In this phenomenological study we focus on dynamic measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath under exercise conditions. An experimental setup efficiently combining breath-by-breath analyses using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) with data reflecting the behaviour of major hemodynamic and respiratory parameters is presented. Furthermore, a methodology for complementing continuous VOC profiles obtained by PTR-MS with simultaneous SPME/GC-MS measurements is outlined. These investigations aim at evaluating the impact of breathing patterns, cardiac output or blood pressure on the observed breath concentration and allow for the detection and identification of several VOCs revealing characteristic rest-to-work transitions in response to variations in ventilation or perfusion. Examples of such compounds include isoprene, methyl acetate, butane, DMS and 2-pentanone. In particular, both isoprene and methyl acetate exhibit a drastic rise in concentration shortly after the onset of exercise, usually by a factor of about 3-5 within approximately 1 min of pedalling. These specific VOCs might also be interpreted as potentially sensitive indicators for fluctuations of blood or respiratory flow and can therefore be viewed as candidate compounds for future assessments of hemodynamics, pulmonary function and gas exchange patterns via observed VOC behaviour.

DOI: 10.1088/0967-3334/31/9/008
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@article{King2010DynamicPO, title={Dynamic profiles of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath as determined by a coupled PTR-MS/GC-MS study.}, author={Julian King and Pawel Mochalski and Alexander Kupferthaler and Karl Unterkofler and Helin Koc and Wojciech Filipiak and Susanne Teschl and Hartmann Hinterhuber and Anton Amann}, journal={Physiological measurement}, year={2010}, volume={31 9}, pages={1169-84} }