Because heme catabolism leads to the formation of equimolar amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) and bilirubin, a variety of techniques have been developed to correlate CO production rates as indices of bilirubin production. The use of end-tidal breath CO measurements for estimating rates of bilirubin production in infants has been well documented and validated in a number of clinical studies for its use and predictive value in identifying infants who are high producers of bilirubin and hence at risk for developing pathologic neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Recently, end-tidal breath CO has been suggested as a marker for chronic lung disease and developmental problems. Trace gas analysis remains an area for interesting investigation in the future.
End-Tidal Breath Carbon Monoxide Measurements: Current Directions
Drs Cohen, Wong, and Stevenson have disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this article. This commentary does contain a discussion of an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
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Ronald S. Cohen, MD, Ronald J. Wong, MD, David K. Stevenson, MD; End-Tidal Breath Carbon Monoxide Measurements: Current Directions. Neoreviews August 2012; 13 (8): e486–e490. https://doi.org/10.1542/neo.13-8-e486
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