a study on Asthma
This study is designed to characterize subjects in terms of their sputum phenotype. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the impact of having abnormally elastic sputum on asthma severity by comparing subjects with severe as well as mild/moderate asthma to healthy controls. The characterization will include medical history, pulmonary function testing, imaging of the lungs and biospecimen collection.
Asthma is a heterogeneous disease characterized by airway hyperreactivity and chronic airway inflammation. Published literature from the last few years has shown that asthma does not behave like a single disease but is more of a syndrome with vast heterogeneity in pathogenesis, severity, and treatment response. Various clinical phenotypes and endotypes have been described that advance our understanding of these differences and the mechanisms underlying them. We propose there is a subgroup of asthmatic patients that have sputum with abnormal biophysical properties. Healthy airway mucus is composed of a lightly cross-linked gel that is easily transported by the mucociliary apparatus, coughed and expectorated or swallowed. Pathologic mucus has, in contrast, abnormally high elasticity. This is due to a more cross linked structure which gives the sputum the properties of solid and makes sputum difficult to mobilize. Increased sputum elasticity makes expectoration of sputum more difficult and leads to airflow obstruction. Pathologic mucus contributes to airflow obstruction and airway infection in multiple lung diseases, including asthma. Mucus plugs are a particular problem in asthmatic patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)The identification of phenotype of severe asthma with pathologic mucus contributing to disease severity may change how we think about severe asthma, moving towards therapies targeting mucus clearance such as in other conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Pathologic mucus in severe asthma is characterized by cellular inflammation, high concentrations of mucins and DNA polymers. Knowledge of specific cellular and biochemical constituents of pathologic mucus in severe asthma can guide targeted mucolytic treatment with n-acetylcysteine, rhDNAse, or novel mucolytic agents.
As part of the Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP), UCSF is in a unique position to recruit a large number of severe asthmatic subjects within which we expect a portion will demonstrate high sputum elasticity. We will also through CAESAR recruit additional subjects with moderate to severe airflow obstruction. We will perform rheological measurement on all subjects that are recruited to our site and from this identify a group of asthmatic cases that have an elastic modulus of ≥1 or <1 and compare properties of sputum from these subjects to healthy controls.
Asthma Severe asthma Sputum Mucolysis
Open to people ages 18–65
Inclusion criteria: Healthy subjects between the age of 18y and 65y. At least 3 of the 7 subjects per center should be aged 35y or older.
We will not share your information with anyone other than the team in charge of this study. Submitting your contact information does not obligate you to participate in research.
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If you do not hear from the study team, please call 888-689-8273 and tell them you’re interested in study number NCT02103348.
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