Semiportable electrochemical instrument for determining carbon monoxide in breath

H. J. Vreman, D. K. Stevenson, W. Oh, A. A. Fanaroff, L. L. Wright, J. A. Lemons, E. Wright, S. Shankaran, J. E. Tyson, S. B. Korones, C. R. Bauer, B. J. Stoll, L. A. Papile, E. F. Donovan, R. A. Ehrenkranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Measurements of carbon monoxide (CO) in breath can be used for the diagnosis of hemolytic disease. A small, semiportable, easy-to-operate CO instrument was developed at Stanford University and tested at 12 Neonatal Research Network Centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. A syringe pump delivers 7.7 mL of sample per minute through an activated carbon filter to an electrochemical (EC) sensor having a sensitivity of 0.10 ± 0.01 V per 1 μL/L CO in air. The electronically processed sensor signal is displayed on a digital multimeter. For a typical end-tidal CO measurement, corrected for inhaled CO, three 10- to 12-mL breath and room air samples are manually or mechanically collected and analyzed. CO determination in breath samples from 108 healthy, 1 -day-old infants of nonsmoking mothers compared favorably with determinations by gas chromatography (GC), 1.3 ± 0.8 vs 1.2 ± 0.8 (mean ± SD), respectively, with a regression equation of EC = 0.95 GC + 0.13 (r2 = 0.98). The results demonstrate that the EC-CO instrument yields results that are comparable with those obtained by the more difficult to perform GC assay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1927-1933
Number of pages7
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • End-tidal breath analysis
  • Gas chromatography compared
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Jaundice
  • Neonates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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