Off-line sampling of exhaled air for nitric oxide measurement in children: methodological aspects

Q. Jöbsis, S.L. Schellekens, A. Kroesbergen, W.C. Hop, J.C. de Jongste*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Off-line sampling of exhaled air for nitric oxide measurement in children: methodological aspects.

Jobsis Q, Schellekens SL, Kroesbergen A, Hop WC, de Jongste JC.

Dept of Paediatrics, Erasmus University and University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Measurement of nitric oxide in exhaled air is a noninvasive method to assess airway inflammation in asthma. This study was undertaken to establish the reference range of exhaled NO in healthy school-aged children and to determine the influence of ambient NO, noseclip and breath-holding on exhaled NO, using an off-line balloon sampling method. All children attending a primary school (age range 8-13 yrs) underwent NO measurements on two occasions with high and low ambient NO. Each time, the children performed four expiratory manoeuvres into NO-impermeable balloons, with and without 10 s of breath-holding and with and without wearing a noseclip. Exhalation flow and pressure were not controlled. NO was measured within 4 h after collection, by means of chemiluminescence. All children completed a questionnaire on respiratory and allergic disorders, and performed flow/volume spirometry. With low ambient NO, the mean exhaled NO value of 72 healthy children with negative questionnaires and normal lung function was 5.1 +/- 0.2 parts per billion (ppb) versus a mean of 6.8 +/- 0.3 ppb in the remaining 49 children with positive questionnaires for asthma and allergy, and/or recent symptoms of cold (p=0.001). Exhaled and ambient NO were significantly related, especially with ambient NO > 10 ppb (r = 0.86, p=0.0001 versus r=0.34, p=0.004 for ambient values <10 ppb). The use of a noseclip, with low ambient NO and without breath-holding, caused a small decrease in exhaled NO values (p=0.001). The effect of breath-holding on exhaled NO depended on ambient NO. With ambient NO > 10 ppb, exhaled NO decreased, whereas with ambient NO < 10 ppb, exhaled NO increased after 10 s breath-hold. It is concluded that off-line sampling in balloons is a simple and, hence, attractive method for exhaled nitric oxide measurements in children which differentiates between groups with and without self-reported asthma, allergy and colds, when ambient nitric oxide is < 10 parts per billion. Wearing a noseclip and breath-holding affected measured values and should, therefore be standardized or, preferably, avoided
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-903
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

Cite this