Exhaled methane concentration measurements are extensively used in medical investigation of certain gastrointestinal conditions. However, the dynamics of endogenous methane release is largely unknown. Breath methane profiles during ergometer tests were measured by means of a photoacoustic spectroscopy based sensor. Five methane-producing volunteers (with exhaled methane level being at least 1 ppm higher than room air) were measured. The experimental protocol consisted of 5 min rest - 15 min pedalling (at a workload of 75 W) - 5 min rest. In addition, hemodynamic and respiratory parameters were determined and compared to the estimated alveolar methane concentration. The alveolar breath methane level decreased considerably, by a factor of 3-4 within 1.5 min, while the estimated ventilation-perfusion ratio increased by a factor of 2-3. Mean pre-exercise and exercise methane concentrations were 11.4 ppm (SD:7.3) and 2.8 ppm (SD:1.9), respectively. The changes can be described by the high sensitivity of exhaled methane to ventilation-perfusion ratio and are in line with the Farhi equation.
- Farhi equation
- methane breath test
- photoacoustic spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine