Safety and feasibility of exhaled breath condensate collection in ventilated infants and children

W. G. Muller, F. Morini, S. Eaton, M. Peters, A. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to develop a technique for the collection of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) from ventilated children and assess its safety and feasibility. Collection of EBC is used to investigate markers of oxidative stress in the lower airway. No studies have assessed its safety in ventilated children. An in vitro model was developed by connecting a ventilator to an artificial lung; 14 clinical and ventilatory parameters were measured during EBC collection from ventilated children. Levels of 8-isoprostane were measured following collection with and without humidification of the inhaled gas. Amount of water vapour collected was linearly related to time and to minute ventilation in the in vitro model. EBC collections (n=68) were made from ventilated children. In the nonhumidified group, the mean (range) positive end-expiratory pressure increased by 4.1% (2.8-5.5%) and the peak inspiratory flow decreased by 6.1% (11.0-1.3%) during collection. Detectable levels of 8-isoprostane were only found in 10 out of 18 nonhumidified EBC samples (median (range) 4.7 pg·mL-1 (0-5.8)). Collection of exhaled breath condensate from ventilated infants and children is feasible and safe. Discontinuation of humidification is likely to be important in standardising the measurement of inflammatory parameters in exhaled breath condensate collected from ventilated children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • 8-isoprostane
  • Exhaled breath condensate
  • Safety
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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