Stool emissions test distinguished between IBD, IBS
Analysis of volatile organic compounds emitted from stool samples distinguished patients with either inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, according to new data from researchers in the UK.
Investigators coupled a gas chromatograph to a metal oxide sensor with pattern recognition software. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs), acting as a proxy for conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, produced a unique profile for each bowel disease with 76% overall accuracy.
The system required 40 minutes to obtain a chromatogram which then was assessed “in seconds” by artificial neural network software, according to researchers.
Stool samples were collected from 182 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) between October 2010 and October 2011. After being frozen, the samples were compared to control samples from healthy patients. The system was able to distinguish IBD from controls with 79% mean accuracy. But the method was less sensitive when distinguishing IBS from controls (mean accuracy, 54%). Sensitivity and specificity in differentiating IBS from IBD samples were 76% and 88%, respectively.
“Our work has demonstrated that a low-cost device based on VOC analysis could be used to potentially diagnose, and differentiate, IBS and IBD at the point of care,” researcher Sophie F. Shepherd,BSc, Institute of Bio-sensing Technology, University of the West of England, said in a press release.
Disclosure: Relevant financial disclosures were not provided by researchers.