Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide by three different techniques

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The purpose of the study was to compare exhaled nitric oxide (NO) determined by three techniques. Ninety-one subjects performed a slow vital capacity maneuver: (1) through the mouth directly into a NO chemiluminescence analyzer (peak oral NO), (2) through the mouth into a collection bag (mean oral NO), and (3) through the nose into a collection bag (mean nasal NO). Peak oral NO was higher in patients with asthma (n = 18, 174.2 ± 27.0 ppb), but lower in smokers (n = 36, 39.6 ± 4.8 ppb) compared with nonsmoking control subjects (n = 23, 105.5 ± 8.4 ppb, p <0.05 both comparisons). Mean oral NO levels were significantly lower than peak oral NO levels (p <0.05), but still higher in patients with asthma in comparison with nonsmoking healthy control subjects and asymptomatic smokers (27.2 ± 3.5 versus 14.5 ± 1.1 and 7.3 ± 0.7 ppb, respectively, p <0.05). In contrast, there was no significant difference in mean nasal NO levels between the three groups. Peak oral NO and mean oral NO levels correlated (r = 0.772, p <0.0001). Determination of exhaled oral NO levels is qualitatively independent of the technique used, but nasal exhalation may affect NO determination in conditions associated with airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1635
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Robbins, R. A., Floreani, A. A., Von Essen, S. G., Sisson, J. H., Hill, G. E., Rubinstein, I., & Townley, R. G. (1996). Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide by three different techniques. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 153(5), 1631-1635.