Different Patterns in Changes of Exhaled Breath Condensate pH and Exhaled Nitric Oxide After Ozone Exposure

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;834:39-47. doi: 10.1007/5584_2014_63.


Study objective was the evaluation of pH in exhaled breath condensate (EBC-pH) and nitric oxide in exhaled breath (FeNO) as biomarkers of ozone induced inflammation. We recently demonstrated that an ozone exposure of 240 ppb is sufficient to reduce lung function indices. We enrolled ten healthy subjects exposed in an intermittent exercise protocol to ozone concentrations of 240 ppb and 40 ppb (sham exposure). EBC-pH and FeNO were assessed before (pre), immediately post (post), and 16 h after exposure (16 h). Findings are that compared to baseline, EBC-pH was significantly higher immediately after sham and ozone exposures, but not 16 h later. There was a negative net change in EBC-pH after adjusting for effects after sham exposure (net-ΔpHpost -0.38%, net-ΔpH16h -0.23%). Concerning FeNO, we observed no changes of values after sham exposure compared to baseline, but measured a significant lower net response at the end of exposure (net-ΔFeNOpost -17.5%) which was transient within 16 h (net-ΔFeNO16h -9.4%). We conclude that exercise known to enhance EBC-pH may compensate for EBC acidification associated with inflammation resulting in diminished change of this biomarker. Ozone imposes an oxidative burden and reactions between reactive oxygen species and NO might be an explanation for reduced FeNO levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Breath Tests*
  • Exhalation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Ozone / toxicity*


  • Biomarkers
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Ozone