Exhaled breath hydrogen cyanide as a marker of early Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in children with cystic fibrosis

Gilchrist, Francis J., Belcher, John, Jones, Andrew M., Smith, David, Smyth, Alan R., Southern, Kevin W., Španěl, Patrik, Webb, A. Kevin and Lenney, Warren (2015) Exhaled breath hydrogen cyanide as a marker of early Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in children with cystic fibrosis. ERJ Open Research, 1 (2). ISSN 2312-0541

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Hydrogen cyanide is readily detected in the headspace above Pseudomonas aeruginosa cultures and in the breath of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with chronic (P. aeruginosa) infection. We investigated if exhaled breath HCN is an early marker of P. aeruginosa infection.

233 children with CF who were free from P. aeruginosa infection were followed for 2 years. Their median (interquartile range) age was 8.0 (5.0–12.2) years. At each study visit, an exhaled breath sample was collected for hydrogen cyanide analysis. In total, 2055 breath samples were analysed. At the end of the study, the hydrogen cyanide concentrations were compared to the results of routine microbiology surveillance.

P. aeruginosa was isolated from 71 children during the study with an incidence (95% CI) of 0.19 (0.15–0.23) cases per patient-year. Using a random-effects logistic model, the estimated odds ratio (95% CI) was 3.1 (2.6–3.6), which showed that for a 1- ppbv increase in exhaled breath hydrogen cyanide, we expected a 212% increase in the odds of P. aeruginosa infection. The sensitivity and specificity were estimated at 33% and 99%, respectively.

Exhaled breath hydrogen cyanide is a specific biomarker of new P. aeruginosa infection in children with CF. Its low sensitivity means that at present, hydrogen cyanide cannot be used as a screening test for this infection.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/766599
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00044-2015
Depositing User: Smyth, Prof Alan
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 17:22
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31677

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