Measurement of FeNO has been approved for clinical use to monitor anti-inflammatory treatment in asthma.
Increases in FeNO are suggestive of eosinophilic airway inflammation and are readily reduced by anti-inflammatory treatment.
Increases in FeNO predict loss of asthma control before the appearance of symptoms and changes in lung function tests.
Evaluation of EBC biomarkers for potential clinical applications are ongoing.
Long term: to improve management of asthma and other chronic inflammatory airway diseases.
Short term: to introduce the measurement of exhaled NO; to summarise the main points of current guidelines for exhaled NO measurement; to give information on the usefulness of exhaled NO measurement in asthma management; and to give basic information on exhaled breath condensate.
Summary Asthma is defined as an inflammatory disorder of the airways. Therefore, it is reasonable to add an “inflammometer” to the available methods of disease monitoring. In this respect, several biomarkers have been tested from different samples, including blood, urine and exhaled breath. Breath tests for the determination of exhaled biomarkers offer great opportunities for disease monitoring, as they are simple, completely non-invasive, can be performed in children and also in severe patients, and can be repeated even at short intervals. This article will focus on the use of exhaled biomarkers to monitor airway inflammation. The central aim is to introduce the measurement of exhaled NO as a prototype for the application of biomarkers in the management of asthma. The field of EBC is also mentioned to give some background information on the sampling of non-volatile biomarkers in exhaled breath.
- ©ERS 2005
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