Review Articles

A Review of Breath Metabolic Profiling for Non-invasive Testing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients.

This review aims to summarise the current literature on employing exhaled breath volatile organic molecules (VOMs) as novel biomarkers for non-invasive testing in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Inflammatory bowel disease is a multifactorial disease that significantly diminishes thequality of life of affected individuals. Currently, the tools employed in IBD diagnosis and monitoring are numerous, imprecise and invasive for patients. This has necessitated the need to develop new biomarkers that are accurate. The use of VOM breath testing is one such potential modality. This review discusses the efficacy of current IBD testing modalities and the principles of metabolic profiling. It evaluates the use of breath VOM profiling in IBD testing and postulates its implications for future practice. The VOM profiles of IBD patients are different to those of healthy individuals. VOM profiles also differ between IBD subcategories and correlate to disease severity. VOM profiling via the breath headspace is accurate, non-invasive and has the potential for point-of-care testing. VOM profiling offers an exciting avenue as a frontline diagnostic and monitoring tool for IBD patients and thus merits further research.

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