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Real-time quantification of amino acids in the exhalome by secondary electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry: a proof-of-principle study


García-Gómez, Diego; Gaisl, Thomas; Bregy, Lukas; Cremonesi, Alessio; Sinues, Pablo Martinez-Lozano; Kohler, Malcolm; Zenobi, Renato (2016). Real-time quantification of amino acids in the exhalome by secondary electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry: a proof-of-principle study. Clinical Chemistry, 62(9):1230-1237.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Amino acids are frequently determined in clinical chemistry. However, current analysis methods are time-consuming, invasive, and suffer from artifacts during sampling, sample handling, and sample preparation. We hypothesized in this proof-of-principle study that plasma concentrations of amino acids can be estimated by measuring their concentrations in exhaled breath. A novel breath analysis technique described here allows such measurements to be carried out in real-time and noninvasively, which should facilitate efficient diagnostics and give insights into human physiology. METHODS: The amino acid profiles in 37 individuals were determined by ion-exchange HPLC in blood plasma and simultaneously in breath by secondary electrospray ionization coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Participants were split into training and test sets to validate the analytical accuracy. Longitudinal profiles in 3 individuals were additionally obtained over a 12-h period. RESULTS: Concentrations of 8 slightly volatile amino acids (A, V, I, G, P, K, F, Orn) could be determined in exhaled breath with a CV of <10%. Exhalome validation studies yielded high accuracies for each of these amino acids, on average only 3% less compared to plasma concentrations (95% CI ±13%). Higher variations were found only for amino acids with a low plasma concentration. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates for the first time that amino acids can be quantified in the human breath and that their concentrations correlate with plasma concentrations. Although this noninvasive technique needs further investigation, exhalome analysis may provide significant benefits over traditional, offline analytical methods.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Amino acids are frequently determined in clinical chemistry. However, current analysis methods are time-consuming, invasive, and suffer from artifacts during sampling, sample handling, and sample preparation. We hypothesized in this proof-of-principle study that plasma concentrations of amino acids can be estimated by measuring their concentrations in exhaled breath. A novel breath analysis technique described here allows such measurements to be carried out in real-time and noninvasively, which should facilitate efficient diagnostics and give insights into human physiology. METHODS: The amino acid profiles in 37 individuals were determined by ion-exchange HPLC in blood plasma and simultaneously in breath by secondary electrospray ionization coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Participants were split into training and test sets to validate the analytical accuracy. Longitudinal profiles in 3 individuals were additionally obtained over a 12-h period. RESULTS: Concentrations of 8 slightly volatile amino acids (A, V, I, G, P, K, F, Orn) could be determined in exhaled breath with a CV of <10%. Exhalome validation studies yielded high accuracies for each of these amino acids, on average only 3% less compared to plasma concentrations (95% CI ±13%). Higher variations were found only for amino acids with a low plasma concentration. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates for the first time that amino acids can be quantified in the human breath and that their concentrations correlate with plasma concentrations. Although this noninvasive technique needs further investigation, exhalome analysis may provide significant benefits over traditional, offline analytical methods.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:11 Nov 2016 12:41
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 10:39
Publisher:American Association for Clinical Chemistry
ISSN:0009-9147
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2016.256909
PubMed ID:27444981

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