Comparison of exhaled breath condensate from nasal and oral collection

Eur J Med Res. 2003 Nov 12;8(11):505-10.


Background: Analysis of exhaled breath condensate may provide new insights into pulmonary inflammatory processes. A new collection method via suction of nasally expired air especially suitable for younger children was presented recently. Here we compare this nasal suction method with the more widely used oral collection method regarding the amount of condensate collected as well as the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), nitrite and nitrate, respectively.

Materials and methods: Exhaled breath condensate was collected from 11 healthy adults for the measurements of the amount of condensate and H2O2 concentration and from 17 children for the measurements of nitrite and nitrate. Condensate was collected via nasal suction and oral exhalation from each subject.

Results: Overall, no differences between both collection methods were found for all variables assessed except the concentration of H2O2, whereas the latter closely correlated (Spearman r = 0.88, p = 0.0007) between both collection methods. No correlation was found for the amount of condensate collected and the concentration of nitrite and nitrate. The Bland-Altman limits of agreement scattered over a wide range with clinical impact, proving significant differences between both collection methods for all variables measured.

Conclusions: Although nasal and oral collection method proved again suitable for the collection of exhaled breath condensate, the variability of the results obtained precludes the interchangeable usage of the inflammatory markers assessed here.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Exhalation
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Mouth*
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Nose*


  • Biomarkers
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Hydrogen Peroxide