(HealthDay News) – An exhaled breath metabolome is feasible for identifying acute decompensated heart failure, according to a research letter published in the April 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Noting that previous research has shown a correlation between elevated acetone, pentane, and nitric oxide levels in exhaled breath with heart failure severity, Michael A. Samara, MD, from Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, and colleagues assessed the feasibility of exhaled breath analysis to identify patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Twenty-five patients with a primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure and 16 controls with non-acute decompensated heart failure cardiovascular diagnoses were recruited. Exhaled-breath samples were collected within 24 hours of admission, following an eight-hour fast, and before administration of morning medications. A single exhaled tidal volume was provided into a sterile mouthpiece, while maintaining an exhaled pressure of 15 millibars. Breath analyses were conducted within two hours of sample collection.

The researchers found that all patients were able to tolerate the sample collection. The acute decompensated heart failure cohort had increased exhaled acetone and pentane compared with controls. In addition, five ion peaks were incorporated into a canonical discriminant analysis model that could successfully differentiate cases from controls. The “breathprint” was validated in a cohort of 36 patients with acute decompensated heart failure, with all cases classified correctly.

“Like conventionally available exhaled breath sensors, the promise of this technology lies in the potential for point-of-care and ambulatory monitoring and screening,” the authors write. “Future studies in exhaled-breath metabolomics are needed to accelerate progress in the field of cardiovascular medicine.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Abbott Laboratories.

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