Exhaled biomarkers

Chest. 2006 Nov;130(5):1541-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.130.5.1541.


Assessing airway and lung inflammation is important for investigating the underlying mechanisms of asthma and COPD. Yet these cannot be measured directly in clinical research and practice because of the difficulties in monitoring inflammation. Noninvasive monitoring may assist in early recognition of asthma and COPD, assessment of its severity, and response to treatment, especially during disease exacerbations. There is increasing evidence that breath analysis may have an important place in clinical management of asthma and COPD. The article reviews the role of current noninvasive measurements of exhaled gases, such as nitric oxide (NO), inflammatory markers in exhaled breath condensate (EBC), and exhaled breath temperature, as well as novel methods in monitoring and management of asthma and COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Breath Tests / methods*
  • Exhalation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / metabolism*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Nitric Oxide