Author(s): Effros RM, Dunning MB rd, Biller J, Shaker R
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Abstract The exhaled breath condensate (EBC) approach provides a convenient and noninvasive approach for sampling the pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (ELF). Increased EBC concentrations of more than a dozen inflammatory markers and hydrogen ions have been reported in lung diseases associated with inflammation. However, the usefulness of EBC is compromised by uncertainties concerning the sources of the EBC droplets and by the extreme and variable dilution of ELF droplets with condensed water vapor ( approximately 20,000-fold). Reported increases in EBC concentrations may reflect proportionate increases in the total volume rather than the concentration of ELF droplets in the collected samples. Conclusions regarding ELF concentrations can only be made if this dilution is estimated with a dilutional indicator (e.g., conductivity of lyophilized EBC). In normal EBC samples, pH is effectively set by oral contamination with NH(3), and EBC pH cannot provide reliable information regarding ELF pH in normal subjects. Acidification of EBC observed in asthma and other conditions may reflect acidification of ELF, decreases in NH(3) added to the EBC, and/or the presence of gastric droplets in the EBC.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine