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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Anesthesiology and Pain Management - Biochemistry - Biotechnology - Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Breath Pentane as a Potential Biomarker for Survival in Hepatic Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury—A Pilot Study
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Author: Changsong Wang et al.

by Changsong Wang, Jinghui Shi, Bo Sun, Desheng Liu, Peng Li, Yulei Gong, Ying He, Shujuan Liu, Guowang Xu, Jianyi Li, Ailin Luo, Enyou Li


Exhaled pentane, which is produced as a consequence of reactive oxygen species-mediated lipid peroxidation, is a marker of oxidative stress. Propofol is widely used as a hypnotic agent in intensive care units and the operating room. Moreover, this agent has been reported to inhibit lipid peroxidation by directly scavenging reactive oxygen species. In this study, using a porcine liver ischemia-reperfusion injury model, we have evaluated the hypothesis that high concentrations of breath pentane are related to adverse outcome and that propofol could reduce breath pentane and improve liver injury and outcome in swine in this situation.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Twenty male swine were assigned to two groups: propofol (n?=?10) and chloral hydrate groups (n?=?10). Hepatic ischemia was induced by occluding the portal inflow vessels. Ischemia lasted for 30 min, followed by reperfusion for 360 min. Exhaled and blood pentane concentrations in the chloral hydrate group markedly increased 1 min after reperfusion and then decreased to baseline. Breath and blood pentane concentrations in the propofol group increased 1 min after reperfusion but were significantly lower than in the chloral hydrate group. A negative correlation was found between breath pentane levels and survival in the chloral hydrate group. The median overall survival was 251 min after reperfusion (range 150–360 min) in the chloral hydrate group. All of the swine were alive in the propofol group.


Monitoring of exhaled pentane may be useful for evaluating the severity of hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury and aid in predicting the outcome; propofol may improve the outcome in this situation.