Results of the application of a tunable diode laser (TDL) to determining the trace gas components of human exhalation are presented. The analyzer is specially developed to measure both carbon
oxides (CO and C02) in expired air. A few results illuminating possible applications of TDLs in high-sensitivity medical diagnostics have been obtained. For nonsmokers, expired concentrations of CO are slightly higher than those in inhaled air. The specific surplus value seems to be independent of the ambient atmospheric CO content. The surplus CO content increases by more than an order of magnitude just after intensive exercises, e.g., jogging. For smokers, the pharmacokinetic of abundant CO removal from the organism could be investigated by this technique, which provides quick and reliable measurements of smoking status. Breath-holding synchronous measurements of CO and CO2 in exhalation demonstrate behavior that is different with breath-holding time. The method seems useful for the investigation of phenomena such as molecular pulmonary diffusion through the alveolar-capillary membrane and an organism's adaptation to oxygen shortage. Prospects for the development and application of diode laser spectroscopy to trace gas analysis in medicine are also discussed.
Eugene V. Stepanov,
Konstantin L. Moskalenko,
"Gas analysis of human exhalation by tunable diode laser spectroscopy," Optical Engineering 32(2), (1 February 1993). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.60690