Studying Exhaled Breath Condensate May Lead to Better Treatment in Asthmatic Patients

January 05, 2024

A new study examining a non-invasive and effort-independent tool to predict pediatric asthma exacerbations and response to treatment using breath condensation.

Danielle Van Beckum, MD, principal investigator and second-year fellow, together with her mentor Kathleen Boyne, MD, attending physician, Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Lurie Children’s and assistant professor of pediatrics are looking at a non-invasive approach to predict exacerbations and response to asthma therapies using breath samples from children.  Traditionally, pulmonary function testing and patient questionnaires have been the primary method of monitoring disease control and treatment response in children with asthma, but this new study will utilize an objective, effort-independent method of monitoring through biomarkers in breath using the RTubeTM exhaled breath condensate (EBC) collection device.

This novel non-invasive tool has already been used in adults in diagnostic, prognostic and predictive studies, but this will be the first study in children, with goals of identifying unique biomarkers of different asthma endotypes to confirm diagnosis, predicting asthma exacerbations, and evaluating treatment response.

To date, we are the only institution conducting this pediatric-focused study and nine participants have been enrolled with ten total as the end goal. The study, which has two parts, will first involve a case comparison between participants with asthma, participants with other chronic lung disease, and healthy participants. The second part of the study will follow the cohort of participants with asthma for one year with repeat EBC samples collected every three months at their follow-up appointments.