Effects of Sampling Conditions and Environmental Factors on Fecal Volatile Organic Compound Analysis by an Electronic Nose Device

Daniel J. C. Berkhout, Marc A. Benninga, Ruby M. van Stein, Paul Brinkman, Hendrik J. Niemarkt, Nanne K. H. de Boer, Tim G. J. de Meij

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Prior to implementation of volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis in clinical practice, substantial challenges, including methodological, biological and analytical difficulties are faced. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of several sampling conditions and environmental factors on fecal VOC profiles, analyzed by an electronic nose (eNose). Effects of fecal sample mass, water content, duration of storage at room temperature, fecal sample temperature, number of freeze-thaw cycles and effect of sampling method (rectal swabs vs. fecal samples) on VOC profiles were assessed by analysis of totally 725 fecal samples by means of an eNose (Cyranose320(®)). Furthermore, fecal VOC profiles of totally 1285 fecal samples from 71 infants born at three different hospitals were compared to assess the influence of center of origin on VOC outcome. We observed that all analyzed variables significantly influenced fecal VOC composition. It was feasible to capture a VOC profile using rectal swabs, although this differed significantly from fecal VOC profiles of similar subjects. In addition, 1285 fecal VOC-profiles could significantly be discriminated based on center of birth. In conclusion, standardization of methodology is necessary before fecal VOC analysis can live up to its potential as diagnostic tool in clinical practice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number11
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016

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