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Breath research has almost invariably focussed on the identification of endogenous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as disease biomarkers. After five decades, a very limited number of breath tests measuring endogenous VOCs is applied to the clinic. In this perspective article, we explore some of the factors that may have contributed to the current lack of clinical applications of breath endogenous VOCs. We discuss potential pitfalls of experimental design, analytical challenges, as well as considerations regarding the biochemical pathways that may impinge on the application of endogenous VOCs as specific disease biomarkers. We point towards several lines of evidence showing that breath analysis based on administration of exogenous compounds has been a more successful strategy, with several tests currently applied to the clinic, compared to measurement of endogenous VOCs. Finally, we propose a novel approach, based on the use of exogenous VOC (EVOC) probes as potential strategy to measure the activity of metabolic enzymes in vivo, as well as the function of organs, through breath analysis. We present longitudinal data showing the potential of EVOC probe strategies in breath analysis. We also gathered important data showing that administration of EVOC probes induces significant changes compared to previous exposures to the same compounds. EVOC strategies could herald a new wave of substrate-based breath tests, potentially bridging the gap between research tools and clinical applications.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of breath research
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Organic compounds that have a relatively high VAPOR PRESSURE at room temperature.
Organic compounds containing the nitroso (-N=O) group attached to an organic moiety.
Oils which evaporate readily. The volatile oils occur in aromatic plants, to which they give odor and other characteristics. Most volatile oils consist of a mixture of two or more TERPENES or of a mixture of an eleoptene (the more volatile constituent of a volatile oil) with a stearopten (the more solid constituent). The synonym essential oils refers to the essence of a plant, as its perfume or scent, and not to its indispensability.
Whitish aromatic crystalline organic compounds made up of two conjoined BENZENE rings.
Inorganic derivatives of ammonia by substitution of one or more hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms or organic compounds with the general formulas R2NCl and RNCl2 (where R is an organic group).
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