Journal of Chromatography B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences vol:905 pages:17-22
The diagnosis of asymptomatic cirrhosis in patients with liver disease is of importance to start screening for complications in due time. Liver biopsy is neither sensitive nor practical enough to be used as a frequent follow-up test in patients with chronic liver disease. The volatile organic compounds present in exhaled breath offer the possibility of exploring internal physiologic and pathologic process in a non invasive way. This study examined whether a specific pattern of biomarkers can be found in breath samples of patients with cirrhosis. To this aim samples of alveolar breath from patients with cirrhosis and healthy volunteers were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. When linear discriminant analysis was used to search for a model(s)/pattern of compounds characteristic for liver cirrhosis, 24 models of 8 independent compounds could distinguish between the groups. The sensitivity and specificity (between 82% and 88%, and 96% and 100%, respectively) of the models suggest that a specific pattern of breath biomarkers can be found in patients with cirrhosis, which may allow detecting this complication of chronic liver disease in an early stage.