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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 702896, 20 pages
Review Article

Breath Tests in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine: From Research to Practice in Current Perspectives

110th Zonal Tuberculosis and Chest Disease Center, Chiang Mai, 10th Office of Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Received 19 April 2013; Revised 12 August 2013; Accepted 14 August 2013

Academic Editor: Alejandro Comellas

Copyright © 2013 Attapon Cheepsattayakorn and Ruangrong Cheepsattayakorn. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Today, exhaled nitric oxide has been studied the most, and most researches have now focusd on asthma. More than a thousand different volatile organic compounds have been observed in low concentrations in normal human breath. Alkanes and methylalkanes, the majority of breath volatile organic compounds, have been increasingly used by physicians as a novel method to diagnose many diseases without discomforts of invasive procedures. None of the individual exhaled volatile organic compound alone is specific for disease. Exhaled breath analysis techniques may be available to diagnose and monitor the diseases in home setting when their sensitivity and specificity are improved in the future.