The diagnostic potential of breath analysis to detect serious lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis will be explored in a new clinical trial, which could lead to faster, more accurate diagnoses, researchers say.

The IMPACT-breath study will be led by Heather Bean, PhD, assistant professor at Arizona State University, who has been working to find new noninvasive diagnostic strategies to detect Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

Bean and collaborators will collect 288 breath samples from CF patients, 3 and older, from five hospitals across the US. The chemicals present in each sample will be analyzed, and compared with the pattern of molecules produced by P. aeruginosa. This will allow the researchers to determine specific molecular profiles that can accurately distinguish which patients have lung infections caused by these specific bacteria or other strains.