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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 2930434, 12 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress Markers in Sputum

1Department of Pathophysiology, National Koranyi Institute of TB and Pulmonology, Piheno Utca 1, Budapest 1121, Hungary
2Department of Pulmonology, National Koranyi Institute of TB and Pulmonology, Piheno Utca 1, Budapest 1121, Hungary

Received 17 July 2015; Revised 15 October 2015; Accepted 18 October 2015

Academic Editor: Daniela Giustarini

Copyright © 2016 Balazs Antus. 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.


Although oxidative stress is thought to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory airway diseases, its assessment in clinical practice remains elusive. In recent years, it has been conceptualized that oxidative stress markers in sputum should be employed to monitor oxidative processes in patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cystic fibrosis (CF). In this review, the use of sputum-based oxidative markers was explored and potential clinical applications were considered. Among lipid peroxidation-derived products, 8-isoprostane and malondialdehyde have been the most frequently investigated, while nitrosothiols and nitrotyrosine may serve as markers of nitrosative stress. Several studies have showed higher levels of these products in patients with asthma, COPD, or CF compared to healthy subjects. Marker concentrations could be further increased during exacerbations and decreased along with recovery of these diseases. Measurement of oxidized guanine species and antioxidant enzymes in the sputum could be other approaches for assessing oxidative stress in pulmonary patients. Collectively, even though there are promising findings in this field, further clinical studies using more established detection techniques are needed to clearly show the benefit of these measurements in the follow-up of patients with inflammatory airway diseases.