Analysis of exhaled breath for disease detection

Anton Amann, Wolfram Miekisch, Jochen Schubert, Bogusław Buszewski, Tomasz Ligor, Tadeusz Jezierski, Joachim Pleil, Terence Risby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Breath analysis is a young field of research with great clinical potential. As a result of this interest, researchers have developed new analytical techniques that permit real-time analysis of exhaled breath with breath-to-breath resolution in addition to the conventional central laboratory methods using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Breath tests are based on endogenously produced volatiles, metabolites of ingested precursors, metabolites produced by bacteria in the gut or the airways, or volatiles appearing after environmental exposure. The composition of exhaled breath may contain valuable information for patients presenting with asthma, renal and liver diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inflammatory lung disease, or metabolic disorders. In addition, oxidative stress status may be monitored via volatile products of lipid peroxidation. Measurement of enzyme activity provides phenotypic information important in personalized medicine, whereas breath measurements provide insight into perturbations of the human exposome and can be interpreted as preclinical signals of adverse outcome pathways. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-482
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Environmental health
  • Gas chromatography
  • Human exposome
  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Laser spectrometry
  • Personalized medicine
  • Preclinical effects
  • Proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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