Smelling Renal Dysfunction via Electronic Nose
The human body odor plays an important role in social communication in various situations, like the olfactory identification of partners and relatives as well as in parents–child interactions. In patients with renal dysfunction the compound of sweat and volatile gases is changed because of the limited ability for removing metabolic products from the blood. The regulation of electrolyte composition and acid–base balance are also altered so that the body odor of these patients may be significantly influenced by these disorders. We show the ability of an electronic nose to detect changes in the human body odor in consequence of renal dysfunction by reducing multivariate sensor signals with principal component analysis to its first and second principal odor component (POC). All healthy subjects could clearly be distinguished from patients with renal failure using quadratic discriminant analysis, whereas a correct classification of 95.2% (98.4% using 1st–3rd POC) of patients between end stage renal failure and chronic renal failure was found. This methodology of analyzing human body odor may also provide new approaches for investigating symptoms of renal failure and for diagnosing other diseases of internal or cutaneous origin.
KeywordsBody odor Electronic nose Principal component analysis Discriminant analysis
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