Asthmatic airways are characterised by enhanced oxidative stress, which can be studied by measuring biomarkers, such as 8-isoprostane. The aims of the present study were: 1) to measure the concentrations of 8-isoprostane in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine of children with problematic and well-controlled asthma; 2) to compare the concentrations of 8-isoprostane measured by gas chromatographic/negative ion chemical ionisation mass spectrometry (GC/NICI-MS) and by an enzymatic immunoassay (EIA). We recruited 20 asthmatic allergic children, 13 with well-controlled asthma and seven with problematic asthma. They underwent exhaled nitric oxide measurements and spirometry, and both EBC and urine samples were collected. 8-isoprostane was measured in EBC by GC/NICI-MS and EIA. 8-isoprostane concentrations in EBC were significantly higher in children with problematic asthma than in children with well-controlled asthma (p = 0.01). An acceptable reproducibility emerged between GC/NICI-MS and EIA (coefficient of reproducibility 11.5 pg x mL(-1)). 8-isoprostane levels measured in urine did not correlate with those measured in EBC. We showed that 8-isoprostane in EBC was significantly increased in children with problematic asthma, suggesting a role for oxidative stress in this asthma phenotype. In addition we found an acceptable reproducibility of EIA compared to GC/NICI-MS, even if the latter method had higher accuracy.
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