News

Wednesday, 22. January 2014

Latest research findings:

Sniffing out patients with heart disease with an electronic nose

In the last few years it has been shown that an electronic nose is able to identify VOCs in exhaled breath to further recognize diseases.

Exhaled air of healthy people contains many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) creating a pattern of distribution that can become modified in the case of illness. The measurement of these gaseous compounds in exhaled breath may provide a noninvasive technique for assessing diseases. In the last few years it has been shown that an electronic nose is able to identify VOCs in exhaled breath to further recognize diseases.

A team of scientists from Munich showed that an electronic nose system is able to distinguish between patients with heart disease and healthy controls.
56 patients with heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), high blood pressure or acute myocardial infarction and 43 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Exhaled breath was collected in a bag-in-box system that was subsequently analysed by an electronic nose (Cyranose 320).
Results:
The electronic nose was able to discriminate patients´ exhaled breath with heart disease from healthy controls (p<0.05). On the basis of different pattern of VOC, the Cyranose even distinguished between the acute and chronic stage. These distinctions were independent from age, medication and gender.
“We were not looking at specific markers," Dr. Ochmann explained. “The overall pattern of compounds is distinctive.”
Authors conclusion:
“The study demonstrated the potential for the detection of heart diseases in exhaled air using an electronic nose technology. Extended studies are intended to evaluate the suitability for the clinical practice in larger patient populations.” Dr. Ochmann, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Munich (LMU).