“Electronic nose sniffs out asthma

Currently, asthma is diagnosed, “according to medical history and symptoms, and spirometry (lung function tests) and exhaled nitric oxide, said Dr. Thomas Leath, director of allergy and immunology at the Scott & White Health in Round Rock, Texas.The Italian researchers wanted to compare the electronic nose for the other commonly used tests – spirometry and FENO – to see who was the best test to confirm a diagnosis of asthma.

Dr. David Rosenstreich, director of the division of allergy and immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, added: “An objective test for rapid diagnosis of asthma would be helpful, and this test seems to be a way for non-invasive sampling problem background. This test appears to be relatively easy for patients and has potential, but have only watched a tiny collection of people who suffer from allergic asthma. ”

The electronic nose was able to correctly distinguish healthy people from those doctor-diagnosed asthma in 87.5 percent of cases. FENO was able to correctly identify asthma in 79.2 percent of study volunteers and pulmonary function tests (spirometry) discerned only 70.8 percent of people with asthma.

When the electronic nose, and Feno were combined, both tests correctly identified almost 96 percent of asthma cases.

The new study included 27 people with intermittent or mild persistent asthma and 24 healthy people. None of the study volunteers had a history of smoking. Those with asthma had a history of allergies, and no one had been treated with corticosteroids for at least four weeks before the study.

“Electronic nose discrimination between asthma patients and healthy subjects and its performance is enhanced when combined with FENO,” wrote the Italian team led by Dr. Paolo Montuschi Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome.

When combined with another test, called fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) test, the electronic nose is an even better job in detecting asthma, the study found.

The electronic nose pointed almost 90 percent of people with asthma, compared with about 70 per cent who were accurately diagnosed in a traditional manner with pulmonary function tests, according to a new study published in the April Journal of the chest.

Wednesday, April 7 – The use of an artificial respiration sensor called the “electronic nose”, the Italian researchers were able to detect more cases of asthma with traditional diagnostic tools.

“This device is interesting and deserves to be examined further, but has yet to be perfected and researchers must find its niche,” said Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Medical Center in Detroit. “We need to know if it’s good for the diagnosis or to measure improvements after treatment. In some diseases through blood markers to monitor response to treatment. You can use it to see if patients react? We also need to know if it is good to diagnose all types of asthma. ”

Learn how asthma is diagnosed in S. U. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Both Appleyard and Leath noted that the cost would initially limit the use of an electronic nose.

“This is potentially a good tool. It can be used for screening if it is convenient to see the effect of anti-inflammatory drugs. But there is certainly more research,” said Leath.

To do this, all study volunteers who received the three tests. Each test is invasive, requiring only the use of expired air.

The device works through the identification of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled air. These VOCs produce a unique smell print for each individual and specific patterns have been observed in people with asthma.

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