Background: Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) is a non-invasive method to assess airway inflammation and oxidative stress and may be useful in the assessment of childhood asthma.
Methods: Exhaled 8-isoprostane, a stable marker of oxidative stress, was measured in EBC, in children (5-17 years) with asthma (13 steroid-naïve and 12 inhaled steroid-treated) and 11 healthy control.
Results: Mean exhaled 8-isoprostane concentration was significantly elevated in steroid-naïve asthmatic children compared to healthy children 9.3 (SEM 1.7) vs. 3.8 (0.6) pg/ml, p < 0.01. Children on inhaled steroids also had significantly higher 8-isoprostane levels than those of normal subjects 6.7 (0.7) vs. 3.8 (0.6) pg/ml, p < 0.01. Steroid-naïve asthmatics had higher exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) than those of controls 28.5 (4.7) vs. 12.6 (1.5) ppb, p < 0.01. eNO in steroid-treated asthmatics was similar to control subjects 27.5(8.8) vs. 12.6(1.5) ppb. Exhaled 8-isoprostane did not correlate with duration of asthma, dose of inhaled steroids or eNO.
Conclusion: We conclude that 8-isoprostane is elevated in asthmatic children, indicating increased oxidative stress, and that this does not appear to be normalized by inhaled steroid therapy. This suggests that 8-isoprostane is a useful non-invasive measurement of oxidative stress in children and that antioxidant therapy may be useful in the future.