Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Stuart M. Brooks, MD


Inflammatory markers, Asthma, Pregnancy, Preeclampsia, Oxidative stress


This study investigated whether or not there was an overall difference in the pulmonary oxidative marker, 8-isoprostane (PGF2-a), found in exhaled breath condensate, during pregnancy versus the non-pregnant state. The utility of this information was important secondary to the effect of maternal asthma on pregnancy and outcome, as it has been demonstrated in past studies that overall pregnant females with asthma have been shown to have an increased risk of exacerbation requiring medical intervention.The primary goal of this study sought to determine if there is a difference in PGF2a levels in the exhaled breath condensate of pregnant versus non-pregnant females. In order to achieve this goal a cross-sectional study was performed consisting of two groups and were compared to one another. A group of 16 healthy, non-pregnant females aged 18-35 years old was compared to a group of 6 healthy, pregnant females in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Both groups exhaled breath condensate was collected and 8-isoprostane levels determined and compared to each other. Both groups compared did not report a history of environmental allergies, asthma, and smoking. The non-pregnant group showed a mean 8-isoprostane level of 11.513pg/ml (C.I. 8.7633- 14.263). The pregnant group showed a mean 8-isoprostane level of 17.34 pg/ml (C.I. -4.209-38.889).Although a crude observable difference between the means of the two groups was determined, this pilot study did not show a statistically significant difference between the means of the pregnant versus non-pregnant group when they were statistically compared. This finding is primarily due to the small sample size of both groups. A power calculation determined that each group would require 25 participants in order to establish a statistically significant difference in the 8-isoprostane levels in exhaled breath condensate.

The implication is that a larger scale study is needed in order to conclusively determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the exhaled breath condensate 8-isoprostane levels in pregnant versus non-pregnant females.