Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breath test for cancer detection and other conditions could offer less invasive diagnostic

May 13, 2014 5:25 pm by | 0 Comments

Car makers aren’t the only ones adapting breathalyzer technology to improve health and safety. A group of researchers from University of Vermont is developing a way to apply the technologyto detect bacterial infections in the lungs, such as TB. But researchers with Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute are working on a breath test for cancer detection, according to a report in The Atlantic.

Dr. Raed Dweik heads up the pulmonary vascular program at the institute. In an interview with The Atlantic he pointed out that breath tests are a discernable signature with what’s going on in the body just like the molecules from an air pocket contain molecules indicating the composition of the water they came from.

Among the conditions with distinct breath signatures are lung cancer, liver disease, heart disease, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, according to Dweik. Even obesity carries a breath print, said Dweik. Not only would breathalyzer tests for these conditions be less invasive, they could be less costly than blood tests over the long term.

Diabetes is also an area of interest for breath tests. Some researchers have found that acetone in the breath increases when the body is low on glucose.

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