Exhaled diagnosis – what your breath can reveal about your health

07-Mar-2013 - Austria

Analytical chemists have measured the levels of selected organic compounds found in human breath, with the aim of one day applying the technique to the routine diagnosis of disease.

The analysis of biomarkers in exhaled air and in blood can reveal the presence of cancer, the rejection of organs from transplant patients, and has even been used to find earthquake victims trapped under collapsed buildings.

Dr Paweł Mochalski and co-workers have measured the breath and blood of 28 healthy volunteers and found 74 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Their aim is to provide a comprehensive list of the concentrations of these VOCs in a healthy population – an important precursor to applying the technique to the diagnosis of disease.

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