Changes in exhaled breath condensate pH in healthy and asthmatic pregnant women

Noémi Eszes, András Bikov, Zsõfia Lázár, Anikõ Bohács, Veronika Müller, Balázs Stenczer, János Rigõ, György Losonczy, Ildikõ Horváth, Lilla Tamási

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Objective Asthma is a common chronic disease complicating pregnancy with a risk for perinatal complications. Control of airway inflammation in the asthmatic pregnancy improves pregnancy outcomes. Our aim was to evaluate pH of exhaled breath condensate (EBC), a non-invasive method for the assessment of asthmatic airway inflammation, in healthy and asthmatic pregnancies. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Hungarian university clinics. Population Seventeen healthy pregnant women, 21 asthmatic pregnant women, 23 healthy non-pregnant women and 22 asthmatic non-pregnant women. Methods EBC samples were collected using a portable condenser, EBC pH was measured after argon deaeration. Main outcome measure EBC pH. Results EBC pH (mean ± SD) of healthy non-pregnant and asthmatic non-pregnant women was similar (7.75 ± 0.27 vs. 7.54 ± 0.57; p = 0.118), probably indicating an optimal control of airway inflammation in asthmatic women. On the other hand, EBC pH was higher in healthy pregnant women compared with healthy non-pregnant women (8.02 ± 0.43 vs. 7.75 ± 0.27; p = 0.017). Higher EBC pH accompanying healthy pregnancy was absent in asthmatic pregnant patients whose EBC pH was lower (7.65 ± 0.38) than that of healthy pregnant women (p = 0.006), and it was similar to that in asthmatic and healthy non-pregnant women (p = 0.470 and p = 0.300, respectively). The EBC pH in asthmatic pregnant women correlated positively with birthweight (r = 0.49, p = 0.047) and negatively with forced vital capacity (r = 0.45, p = 0.039). EBC pH was not related to blood pH. Conclusions EBC pH is higher in healthy pregnant women but not in asthmatic pregnant women compared with data from healthy non-pregnant women, indicating that oxidative inflammatory processes induced by asthma may compromise the regulatory mechanisms causing alkaline pH in the airways during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
JournalActa obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2013



  • Airway inflammation
  • asthmatic pregnancy
  • exhaled breath condensate pH
  • healthy pregnancy
  • neonatal birthweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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