Oxygen toxicity: simultaneous measure of pentane and malondialdehyde in humans exposed to hyperoxia

Biomed Pharmacother. 2001 Apr;55(3):163-9. doi: 10.1016/s0753-3322(01)00042-7.


In order to estimate cell damage caused by free radicals during oxygenotherapy, we investigated the time course of two markers of lipoperoxidation: pentane in breath and malondialdehyde (MDA) in blood during brief normobaric hyperoxia. Nine healthy subjects inhaled hydrocarbon-free air (HCFA) for 30 minutes, hydrocarbon-free 100% O2 (HCFO2) for 125 minutes and then HCFA for 70 minutes. After 15 minutes of washout with HCFA, ambient pentane was eliminated. After HCFO2, at T175 versus T30 (i.e., 145 min from the start of 100% HCFO2), pentane production increased (P< 0.05). MDA rose significantly at T155 min (i.e., 125 min from the start of HCFO2), versus T30 (P< 0.01). These results suggest that acute hyperoxia causes a moderate increase in lipid peroxidation in healthy subjects. The increase of pentane and MDA confirms that acute hyperoxia induces lipid peroxidation in healthy subjects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Breath Tests
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Hyperoxia / blood
  • Hyperoxia / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Pentanes / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Pentanes
  • pentane
  • Malondialdehyde