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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 435160, 25 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/435160
Review Article

Exhaled Breath Condensate: Technical and Diagnostic Aspects

1Smoking and Lung Cancer Research Centre, Hellenic Cancer Society, 8 Doryleou Street, 11521 Athens, Greece
2Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, 4 Soranou Ephessiou Street, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 20 January 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: Bruno Balbi

Copyright © 2015 Efstathia M. Konstantinidi 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.

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 30-year progress of research on exhaled breath condensate in a disease-based approach. Methods. We searched PubMed/Medline, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar using the following keywords: exhaled breath condensate (EBC), biomarkers, pH, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), smoking, COPD, lung cancer, NSCLC, mechanical ventilation, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung diseases, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and drugs. Results. We found 12600 related articles in total in Google Scholar, 1807 in ScienceDirect, and 1081 in PubMed/Medline, published from 1980 to October 2014. 228 original investigation and review articles were eligible. Conclusions. There is rapidly increasing number of innovative articles, covering all the areas of modern respiratory medicine and expanding EBC potential clinical applications to other fields of internal medicine. However, the majority of published papers represent the results of small-scale studies and thus current knowledge must be further evaluated in large cohorts. In regard to the potential clinical use of EBC-analysis, several limitations must be pointed out, including poor reproducibility of biomarkers and absence of large surveys towards determination of reference-normal values. In conclusion, contemporary EBC-analysis is an intriguing achievement, but still in early stage when it comes to its application in clinical practice.