Sputum induction and its diagnostic applications in inflammatory airway disorders: a review
Keywordairway inflammatory disorders
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
dithiothreitol sputum processing
induced sputum cytospins
sputum eosinophil differential cell count
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AbstractSputum induction is a technique that covers the induction and the subsequent processing of the expectorate primarily for the analysis of cells and different inflammatory biomarkers present in the airways to further understand the pathophysiology of different inflammatory respiratory disorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as the diagnosis of lung diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. It is a non-invasive, safe, cost-effective, and reliable technique reported to exhibit a high success rate. However, due to being technically demanding and time-consuming and having the need of employing trained staff, this technique is only used in restricted research centres and in limited centres of clinical use. When the sputum is collected after induction, the primary goal is to obtain a differential cell count and evaluate the molecular biomarkers of airway inflammation such as eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, major basic protein, tryptase, cytokine production [e.g., interleukin (IL)-5], albumin, and fibrinogen. In addition, cytospins from the processed sputum are used for immunocytochemical staining of cellular products such as EG-2 reactive protein, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, tumour necrosis factor alpha, and IL-8 that play significant roles in understanding the pathophysiology of inflammatory airway diseases. Nowadays, this technique can be further used by performing an additional analysis such as flow cytometry and in situ hybridisation on the sputum supernatant to investigate more the immune response and pathophysiological process of such various respiratory diseases. In addition, the application of sputum fluid phase to assess the biomarkers could be used more routinely in pathological laboratories for diagnosing lung cancer, COPD, and asthma as well as for monitoring lung cancer progression and asthma and COPD treatment, allowing for early detection and a better treatment provided by the clinicians.
CitationGoncalves, B., & Eze, U. A. (2023). Sputum induction and its diagnostic applications in inflammatory airway disorders: a review. Frontiers in allergy, 4, 1282782. https://doi.org/10.3389/falgy.2023.1282782
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Sputum biomarkers during acute severe asthma attacks in children - a case-control studyRamphul, Manisha; Monteiro, William; Brightling, Christopher; Gaillard, Erol (2021-11-13)Aim: To study sputum mediator profiles pattern in children with acute severe asthma, compared with stable asthma and healthy controls. The mechanisms of acute severe asthma attacks, such as biomarkers cascades and immunological responses, are poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational case-control study of children aged 5 to 17 years, who presented to hospital with an asthma attack. Children with stable asthma were recruited during outpatient asthma clinic visits. Control children without an asthma diagnosis were recruited from surgical wards. Sputum mediator profiles were measured, and sputum leukocyte differential cell counts were generated. Results: Sputum data were available in 48 children (acute asthma; n = 18, stable asthma; n = 17, healthy controls; n = 13). Acute-phase biomarkers and neutrophil attractants such as IL-6 and its receptor, IL-8 and cytokines linked with bacterial signals, including TNF-R1 and TNF-R2, were elevated in asthma attacks versus stable asthma and healthy controls. T-cell attractant cytokines, associated with viral infections, such as CCL-5, CXCL-10 and CXCL-11, and CXCL-9 (secreted from eosinophils after a viral trigger) were also raised. Conclusion: Mediator profiles consistent with bacterial and viral respiratory infections, and T2 inflammation markers co-exist in the sputum of children with acute severe asthma attacks.
Fungal sensitization and positive fungal culture from sputum in children with asthma are associated with reduced lung function and acute asthma attacks respectivelyMonteiro, William; Gaillard, Erol (2020-12-03)Background: Sensitization to thermotolerant fungi, including filamentous fungi and Candida albicans, is associated with poor lung function in adults with severe asthma. Data in children are lacking. Environmental exposure to fungi is linked with acute severe asthma attacks, but there are few studies reporting the presence of fungi in the airways during asthma attacks. Methods: We investigated the association between fungal sensitization and/or positive fungal sputum culture and markers of asthma severity in children with chronic and acute asthma. Sensitization was determined using serum-specific IgE and skin prick testing against a panel of five fungi. Fungal culture was focused towards detection of filamentous fungi from sputum samples. Results: We obtained sensitization data and/or sputum from 175 children: 99 with chronic asthma, 39 with acute asthma and 37 controls. 34.1% of children with chronic asthma were sensitized to thermotolerant fungi compared with no children without asthma (p =< 0.001). These children had worse pre-bronchodilator lung function compared with asthmatics without sensitization including a lower FEV1 /FVC ratio (p < .05). The isolation rate of filamentous fungi from sputum was higher in children with acute compared with chronic asthma. Conclusions: Fungal sensitization is a feature of children with chronic asthma. Children sensitized to thermotolerant fungi have worse lung function, require more courses of systemic corticosteroids and have greater limitation of activities due to asthma. Asthma attacks in children were associated with the presence of filamentous fungi positive sputum culture. Mechanistic studies are required to establish whether fungi contribute directly to the development of acute asthma.
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