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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7173156, 6 pages
Research Article

A Modified Carbon Monoxide Breath Test for Measuring Erythrocyte Lifespan in Small Animals

1Institute of Breath Test Research, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
2Department of Gastroenterology, Nanshan Hospital, Guangdong Medical College, Shenzhen 518052, China
3Institute of Seekya Breath Test Technology, Shenzhen 518053, China
4Shenzhen Testing Center of Medical Devices, Shenzhen 518000, China
5Central Laboratory, Nanshan Hospital, Guangdong Medical College, Shenzhen 518052, China

Received 16 February 2016; Accepted 10 April 2016

Academic Editor: Yoshifumi Saisho

Copyright © 2016 Yong-Jian Ma et al. 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.


This study was to develop a CO breath test for RBC lifespan estimation of small animals. The ribavirin induced hemolysis rabbit models were placed individually in a closed rebreath cage and air samples were collected for measurement of CO concentration. RBC lifespan was calculated from accumulated CO, blood volume, and hemoglobin concentration data. RBC lifespan was determined in the same animals with the standard biotin-labeling method. RBC lifespan data obtained by the CO breath test method for control (CON,  d) rabbits, rabbits given 10 mg/kg·d−1 of ribavirin (RIB10,  d), and rabbits given 20 mg/kg·d−1 of ribavirin (RIB20,  d) were statistically similar (all ) to and linearly correlated (, ) with the RBC lifespan data obtained for the same rabbits by the standard biotin-labeling method (CON,  d; RIB10,  d; and RIB20,  d). The CO breath test method takes less than 3 h to complete, whereas the standard method requires at least several weeks. In conclusion, the CO breath test method provides a simple and rapid means of estimating RBC lifespan and is feasible for use with small animal models.