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Anal Chem. 2010 Mar 15;82(6):2541-51. doi: 10.1021/ac100061k.

Automated needle trap heart-cut GC/MS and needle trap comprehensive two-dimensional GC/TOF-MS for breath gas analysis in the clinical environment.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Rostock, Schillingallee 35, 18057 Rostock, Germany.


This study was intended to evaluate low-volume (20 mL) multibed needle trap (NTD) sampling combined with heart-cut gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC x GC/TOF-MS) for trace gas analysis under clinical conditions. NTDs, high-throughput automatic desorption and separation systems, were tested in vitro and within a study in 11 patients undergoing cardiac surgery with respect to reproducibility, reliability, and clinical applicability. NTD-heart-cut GC/MS analysis of standard mixtures containing different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) yielded relative standard deviations (RSDs) from 4.0% to 18.5%. Substance adsorption was stable for 1 day if NTDs were closed on both ends and was stable for approximately 7.8 h when NTD tip ends had to be left open during autosampler storage. Even in the presence of high concentrations of contaminants linearity of heart-cut GC/MS was conserved. In patients' breath potential biomarkers could be determined even in the presence of very high concentrations of sevoflurane. Profiles of blood-borne biomarkers, intravenous drugs, and clinical contaminants were characterized. Comprehensive GC x GC/TOF-MS may be used as a screening tool for new biomarkers, if patterns are generated from deconvoluted normalized areas. Needle trap sampling in combination with hyphenated chromatographic techniques can thus be used to provide well-tailored solutions for complex problems occurring in clinical breath analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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