Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Beating pneumonia by a nose


Electronic nose detects pneumonia in critically ill patients

According to a team of researchers from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an electronic nose - a relatively new version of a sensor previously used in the food, wine and perfume industries - can quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients. The results will be presented at the CHEST 2002 Annual Meeting Tuesday, November 5th in San Diago.

"We wanted to further explore using the e-nose after the exciting results of an initial study we conducted back in 1997 with only 20 patients," said C. William Hanson, III, MD, associate professor of Anesthesia, Surgery and Internal Medicine, and lead author of the study. When it comes to lower pulmonary infections, especially in critically ill patients, time is of the essence for disease control. "Rather than waiting two to three days for the results of a bacterial culture or relying on chest X-rays which aren’t always accurate, the e-nose can give us a head start toward a proper diagnoses. We could avoid over-prescribing powerful antibiotics which are usually given to patients while we’re waiting for their test results, even though we don’t know if they actually need them," adds Hanson.

In the current study, 415 mechanically ventilated, critical care patients were screened for the presence of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) using a clinical pneumonia score (CPIS). Patients with high CPIS scores were enrolled in the study as well as control patients who had no evidence of pneumonia. An exhaled breath sample was taken from each patient directly from the expiratory limb of the ventilator circuit into an electronic nose made by Cyrano Sciences, Pasadena, CA. This differs from the original study where breath samples were collected in plastic bags from the ventilators of intubated intensive care patients and then fed into a different electronic nose.

The e-nose contains an array of sensors consisting of carbon-black/polymer composites. The patient’s exhaled breath gas was passed over these sensors which interact with volatile molecules to produce unique patterns that are displayed in two-dimensional "maps," or dot patterns on a computer screen. The results were analyzed using pattern recognition algorithms and assessed for a correlation between the actual CPIS scores and the one predicted by the nose. Hanson and his colleagues found that the nose made clear distinctions between the patients who were infected and those who were not.

"The data show good correlation between the actual scores and those predicted by the data from the e-nose sensor," said Hanson. "Furthermore, this study suggests that the commercial electronic nose, as is, would be reasonably successful in predicting ventilator associated pneumonia. It would be even more suited to the task if the sensor array could be customized." Preliminary data also suggests that the e-nose may be able to distinguish between pneumonias caused by different bacterial infections. Cyrano Sciences, Inc., donated a "Cyranose" electronic nose for use in this study.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Hanson does not have any financial ties with Cyrano Sciences, Inc., and will be available at the CHEST 2002 Annual Meeting and by phone for comment.

Olivia Fermano | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>