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Breath Biopsy® to Identify Exhaled Volatile Organic Compounds Biomarkers for Liver Cirrhosis Detection.

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Ferrandino, Giuseppe  ORCID logo
De Palo, Giovanna 
Murgia, Antonio 
Birch, Owen 
Tawfike, Ahmed 


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The prevalence of chronic liver disease in adults exceeds 30% in some countries and there is significant interest in developing tests and treatments to help control disease progression and reduce healthcare burden. Breath is a rich sampling matrix that offers non-invasive solutions suitable for early-stage detection and disease monitoring. Having previously investigated targeted analysis of a single biomarker, here we investigated a multiparametric approach to breath testing that would provide more robust and reliable results for clinical use. METHODS: To identify candidate biomarkers we compared 46 breath samples from cirrhosis patients and 42 from controls. Collection and analysis used Breath Biopsy OMNI™, maximizing signal and contrast to background to provide high confidence biomarker detection based upon gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Blank samples were also analyzed to provide detailed information on background volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels. RESULTS: A set of 29 breath VOCs differed significantly between cirrhosis and controls. A classification model based on these VOCs had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.95±0.04 in cross-validated test sets. The seven best performing VOCs were sufficient to maximize classification performance. A subset of 11 VOCs was correlated with blood metrics of liver function (bilirubin, albumin, prothrombin time) and separated patients by cirrhosis severity using principal component analysis. CONCLUSIONS: A set of seven VOCs consisting of previously reported and novel candidates show promise as a panel for liver disease detection and monitoring, showing correlation to disease severity and serum biomarkers at late stage.



Biomarker, Breath Biopsy, Cirrhosis, Liver function test, Non-invasive

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J Clin Transl Hepatol

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Xia & He Publishing
Cancer Research UK (A25117)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)