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Nitric Oxide. 2003 Feb;8(1):26-30.

Nitrate in exhaled breath condensate of patients with different airway diseases.

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Dipartimento di Clinica Medica, Nefrologia e Scienze della Prevenzione, Università degli Studi di Parma, Via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma, Italy.


There is an increasing interest in the measurement of nitric oxide (NO.) in the airways. NO. is a free radical that reacts rapidly with reactive oxygen species in aqueous solution to form peroxynitrite which can then break down to nitrite (NO(2)(-)) and nitrate (NO(3)(-)). NO(3)(-) is considered a stable oxidative end product of NO. metabolism. The aim of this study was to assay NO(3)(-) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of normal nonsmoking and smoking subjects, asthmatics, patients with obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). EBC was collected using a glass condenser and samples were assayed for NO(3)(-) by ion chromatography followed by conductivity measurement. NO(3)(-) was detectable in EBC of all subjects. NO(3)(-) was elevated in smokers [median (range)] [62.5 (9.6-158.0) microM] and in asthmatics [68.0 (25.8-194.6) microM] compared to controls [9.6 (2.6-119.4) microM; p=0.003 and p=0.006, respectively], whereas NO(3)(-) was not elevated in COPD patients [24.1 (1.9-337.0 microM]. The concentration of NO(3)(-) in patients with CAP [243.4 (26.1-584.5) microM] was higher than that in controls (p=0.002) and NO(3)(-) values decreased after treatment and recovery from illness [40.0 (4.1-167.0) microM, p=0.009]. This study shows that NO(3)(-) is detectable in EBC of healthy subjects and it varies in patients with inflammatory airway diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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