ObjectiveThe aim of this study is to assess, for the first time, the relationship between the volatilome and lung function in healthy infants, which may be of help for the early detection of certain respiratory diseases. Lung function tests are crucial in chronic respiratory diseases diagnosis. Moreover, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis in exhaled breath is a noninvasive technique that enables the monitorization of oxidative stress, typical of some forms of airway inflammation.
MethodsLung function was studied in 50 healthy infants of 3-8 months of age and the following parameters were obtained: forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at 0.5 s (FEV0.5 ), forced expiratory flow at 75% of FVC (FEF75 ), forced expiratory flow at 25%-75% of FVC (FEF25-75 ), and FEV0.5 /FVC. Lung function was measured according to the raised volume rapid thoracoabdominal compression technique. In addition, a targeted analysis of six endogenous VOCs (acetone, isoprene, decane, undecane, tetradecane, and pentadecane) in the exhaled breath of the children was carried out by means of thermal desorption coupled gas chromatography-single quadrupole mass spectrometry system.
ResultsA negatively significant relationship has been observed between levels of acetone, tetradecane, and pentadecane in exhaled breath and several of the lung function parameters. Levels of acetone (feature m/z = 58) were significantly negatively associated with FVC and FVE0.5 , levels of tetradecane (feature m/z = 71) with FEV0.5, and levels of pentadecane (feature m/z = 71) with FEV0.5 and FEF25-75 .
ConclusionThe findings of this study highlight a significant association between VOCs related to oxidative stress and lung function in healthy infants.