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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180

Abstract

GUATURA, Sandra Baltazar; MARTINEZ, José Antônio Baddini; BUENO, Patricia Cincotto dos Santos  and  SANTOS, Manuel Lopes dos. Increased exhalation of hydrogen peroxide in healthy subjects following cigarette consumption. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2000, vol.118, n.4, pp. 93-98. ISSN 1516-3180.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802000000400004.

CONTEXT: Increased hydrogen peroxide has been described in the expired breath condensate (H2O2-E) of several lung conditions, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. This technique has been advocated as being a simple method for documenting airway inflammation. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate H2O2-E in healthy cigarette smokers, and to determine the acute effects of the consumption of one cigarette on H2O2-E levels. TYPE OF STUDY: Prospective, controlled trial. SETTING: A pulmonary function laboratory in a University Hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Two groups of healthy volunteers: individuals who had never smoked (NS; n=10; 4 men; age = 30.6 ± 6.2 years) and current cigarette smokers (S; n=12; 7 men; age = 38.7 ± 9.8). None of the volunteers had respiratory symptoms and all showed normal spirometric tests. INTERVENTION: Expired air was collected from all volunteers through a face mask and a plastic collecting system leading into a flask with dry ice and pure ethanol. Samples from the group S were collected twice, before and half an hour after the combustion of one cigarette. MAIN MEASUREMENTS: Expired hydrogen peroxide using the Gallati and Pracht method. RESULTS: The S and NS groups showed comparable levels of H2O2-E at basal conditions [NS = 0.74 mM (DP 0.24) vs. S = 0.75 mM (DP 0.31)]. The smokers showed a significant increase in H2O2-E levels half an hour after the consumption of only one cigarette [0.75 mM (DP 0.31) vs. 0.95 mM (DP 0.22)]. CONCLUSION: The present results are consistent with the concept that smokers increase oxidative stress with elevated production of reactive oxygen species, contributing to the development of smoking-related disorders.

Keywords : Hydrogen peroxide; Smoking; Free radicals.

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