Breath pentane excretion as a marker of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Free Radic Res Commun. 1988;5(2):101-6. doi: 10.3109/10715768809066917.


Activated inflammatory cells are capable of stimulating lipid peroxidation. In 27 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, we measured the pulmonary excretion of pentane, a product released during lipid peroxidation. We found highly significant correlations between pentane excretion and both joint inflammation (r = 0.88, p less than 0.001) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (r = 0.80, p less than 0.001). Patients treated with gold compounds or D-penicillamine excreted diminished amounts of pentane. The data suggest that lipid peroxidation may be related in part to the mechanism of injury in rheumatoid arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Breath Tests
  • Gold / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Penicillamine / therapeutic use
  • Pentanes / analysis*
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Pentanes
  • pentane
  • Gold
  • Penicillamine
  • Prednisone