Fundamental Breath Test / Sampling General benefits





To understand the basis of Breath Tests two groups should be differentiated because although samples processing is the same in all Isomed Breath tests, analysis fundamentals and results interpretation are different.



These tests are diagnostic tools that consider patient’s metabolic and physiologic properties to explore the existence of possible diseases or infections.

During the metabolization of the said substrates, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most common end product and that can more easily be measured. Therefore, the tests aim to determine the amount of 13C-carbon dioxide (13CO2) and compare it to expired isotope 12CO2.

In breath tests with 13C-labelled substrates, the isotopic ratio (12CO2/13CO2) always takes into account patient’s physiological characteristics (weight and mass) and kinetics of metabolism.

Included in this group are:



Tests with non-labelled substrates are also known as hydrogen (H2) / methane (CH4).

Hydrogen and methane are produced in the digestive system essentially by the bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates (starches, sugars or vegetable fibers). If these gases appear in the expired air, it is usually because those carbohydrates have been exposed to bacteria.

The peculiarity of these tests is that carbohydrates are usually digested in the small intestine. If not, little fragments reach the colon, a region particularly rich in bacteria, there are fermented by these bacteria, issuing values increased hydrogen (H2) and / or methane (CH4).

Included in this group are:


Breath Test / Sampling

To perform the breath test, a substrate for the disease or condition that is to be determined is administered to the patient. Patient must follow up special guidelines and protocols defined by ISOMED PHARMA and must be in fasting conditions.

  • For test with 13C-labelled substrates, breath samples are collected and analyzed with ratio mass or infrared spectrometers.
  • For test with non-labelled substrates, breath samples are collected and analyzed with hydrogen or hydrogen/methane analyzers.


General benefits

For health professionals:

  • Easy to handle.
  • Great versatility of the tests.
  • Large portfolio available allowing study different pathologies.

For patients:

  • Non-invasive.
  • Non-radioactive.
  • Ability to manage children, pregnant and nursing (assessment by the physician).

For physicians::

  • High specificity and sensitivity.
  • Ideal tests to monitor certain treatments’ efficacy and medical interventions.
  • Reduced cost.

Consenso Internacional

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