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Editorials |

Condensing Exhaled Breath Into Science

John Hunt, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Asthma and Allergic Disease Center, University of Virginia.

Correspondence to: John Hunt, MD, Asthma and Allergic Disease Center, University of Virginia, Box 800386, Charlottesville, VA 22908; e-mail: jfh2m@virginia.edu


Financial/nonfinancial disclosure: The author has reported to CHEST the following conflict of interest: Dr Hunt is cofounder of Respiratory Research, Inc, which manufactures equipment used for the collection of EBC. The products are RTube and Aeriflux. The company also manufacturers ALFA (airway lining fluid acid monitor), which is also made available to very few select researchers.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(1):5-6. doi:10.1378/chest.10-1150
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Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) holds promise for opening a window into the nebulous world of airway inflammation and chemistry. It may help to provide better individual patient-based—instead of group-based—therapy for lung diseases. EBC has a deserved reputation for being easy and safe to collect from human subjects, allowing for studies to be readily approved by ethics committees. It also enables almost anybody to collect samples, including patients unsupervised outside a clinical environment.1 EBC can be collected from ventilated patients2 and infants3 as well. However, the ease and safety of collection should not imply that assay of EBC is so easy. It is not. As Shakespeare wrote for Hamlet, “Ay, there’s the rub.”

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