Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide by three different techniques

Richard A. Robbins, Anthony A. Floreani, Susanna G. Von Essen, Joseph H. Sisson, Gary E. Hill, Israel Rubinstein, Robert G. Townley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)1631-1635
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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