Peaks of Interest- Breath Test Diagnosis for Diseases

LCGC North America

LCGC North America, LCGC North America-03-01-2008, Volume 26, Issue 3
Pages: 236

Researchers at Swansea University (Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom) are using GC-MS-TD technology to analyze the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath.

Researchers at Swansea University (Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom) are using GC–MS–TD technology to analyze the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath.

Dr. Masood Yousef, a senior research assistant in the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, which is housed in the University's School of Engineering, said, "Studies have shown that high concentrations of certain VOCs in breath can correlate with disease. For example, the odor of 'pear drops' esters and acetone in relation to diabetes, ammonia to hepatitis, and dimethyl sulphide to cirrhosis. There are also certain compounds that seem to mark out particular types of cancer."

The GC–MS–TD system works by analyzing all the component chemicals and compounds that make up a patient's breath and creating a breath profile, which allows scientists to identify VOCs that might signify the presence of disease. Dr. Yousef believes that the breath test will provide a more convenient and rapid method for diagnosing serious diseases.