The accuracy of the Halimeter®, an inexpensive, simple instrument that measures total breath volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), has not been adequately tested. We compared Halimeter® measurements with those obtained with a specific and sensitive gas chromatographic (GC) technique. The Halimeter® gave different, biexponential responses to a constant concentration of different VSCs: The relative response rate and sensitivity were hydrogen sulfide > methyl mercaptan > dimethylsulfide. The transient peak VSC concentration of oral samples was reached long before the sulfide detector fully responded. The GC measurement of initial total VSCs in breath samples was 2.7 ± 0.48 times greater than the peak concentration of the Halimeter®. However, the plateau phase measurement of the Halimeter® was 25% greater than that of GC. While GC and Halimeter® measurements positively correlated, appreciable differences were observed. In studies where relatively precise VSC measurements are required, GC is the preferable technique.
- Oral hygiene
- Volatile sulfur compound