Assessment of exhaled breath condensate ph in exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A longitudinal study

Balazs Antus, Imre Barta, Tamas Kullmann, Zsofia Lazar, Marta Valyon, Ildiko Horvath, Eszter Csiszer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Exhaled breath condensate pH has been proposed as a noninvasive marker of airway inflammation. However, due to standardization difficulties in pH measurement techniques, different pH readings were obtained in previous studies. Objectives: In this longitudinal study we assessed condensate pH in patients with an exacerbation of asthma or chronic obstructive airway disease using the very precise carbon dioxide standardization method that negates the effect of this gas on condensate acidity. Methods: Condensate pH, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, lung function, andblood gases weremeasuredin 20nonsmoking patients with asthma and 21 smoking and 17 ex-smoking patients with chronic obstructive airway disease first at hospital admission due to an acute exacerbation of the disease and again at discharge after treatment. Condensate pH was also assessed in 18 smoking and 18 nonsmoking healthy control subjects. Measurements and Main Results: In patients with asthma, condensate pHwassignificantly decreasedat the time of exacerbationcompared with nonsmoking control subjects and increased with treatment. In patients with chronic obstructive airway disease, condensate pH remained unchanged during exacerbation, both in smokers and exsmokers. Nevertheless, condensates collected from smokers were more acidic than those of ex-smokers. A similar difference was observed between smoker and nonsmoker healthy control subjects. No correlations were found between condensate pH and fractional exhaled nitric oxide or lung function variables measured either at admission or discharge. Conclusions: Our data suggest that exacerbation of asthma, but not chronic obstructive airway disease, is associated with acidification of breath condensate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1492-1497
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2010



  • Acidity
  • Airway
  • Condenser
  • Inflammation
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this