Recent Submissions

  • Sputum biomarkers during acute severe asthma attacks in children - a case-control study

    Ramphul, Manisha; Monteiro, William; Brightling, Christopher; Gaillard, Erol
    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.
  • Potential for integrating yoga within pulmonary rehabilitation and recommendations of reporting framework

    Singh, Sally (2021)
    There is a rising burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in India. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), is a universally recommended multidisciplinary therapeutic strategy for the management of COPD; however, its needs are unmet. The diversity in the healthcare systems, availability of PR specialists and sociocultural multiformity requires contextualised and innovative PR models. Culturally sensitive elements, such as yoga, have some evidence of a positive impact in the management of COPD. Yoga and PR are based on similar principles with a holistic approach of involving physical activities, behaviour change techniques and psychological support to improve disease outcomes. Arguably the principles of PR and yoga are complementary but there are some important differences in the intensities of activities, exercise types and inclusion of mindfulness in components that must be considered. Components of PR enable aerobic capacity building, strengthening of muscles of the upper and lower extremities and building awareness towards disease management. Yoga, on the other hand, primarily can focus on core strengthening, breathing control, mindfulness and self-awareness. We discuss the potential of integrating the sociocultural appeal of yoga with PR delivered at international standards, and how an integrated approach may lead to optimal referral, uptake and completion.
  • The variability of volatile organic compounds in the indoor air of clinical environments.

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Zhao, Bo; McNally, Teresa; Free, Robert; Greening, Neil; Gaillard, Erol; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman (2021)
    The development of clinical breath-analysis is confounded by the variability of background volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Reliable interpretation of clinical breath-analysis at individual, and cohort levels requires characterisation of clinical-VOC levels and exposures. Active-sampling with thermal-desorption/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry recorded and evaluated VOC concentrations in 245 samples of indoor air from three sites in a large National Health Service (NHS) provider trust in the UK over 27 months. Data deconvolution, alignment and clustering isolated 7344 features attributable to VOC and described the variability (composition and concentration) of respirable clinical VOC. 328 VOC were observed in more than 5% of the samples and 68 VOC appeared in more than 30% of samples. Common VOC were associated with exogenous and endogenous sources and 17 VOC were identified as seasonal differentiators. The presence of metabolites from the anaesthetic sevoflurane, and putative-disease biomarkers in room air, indicated that exhaled VOC were a source of background-pollution in clinical breath-testing activity. With the exception of solvents, and waxes associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), exhaled VOC concentrations above 3µg m-3are unlikely to arise from room air contamination, and in the absence of extensive survey-data, this level could be applied as a threshold for inclusion in studies, removing a potential environmental confounding-factor in developing breath-based diagnostics.
  • Randomised controlled trial to investigate the use of high-frequency airway oscillations as training to improve dyspnoea (TIDe) in COPD

    Daynes, Enya; Greening, Neil; Singh, Sally (2021)
    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by symptomatic dyspnoea and reduced exercise tolerance, in part as a result muscle weakness, for which inspiratory muscle training (IMT) may be useful. Excess mucus hypersecretion commonly coexists in COPD and may lead to reduce ventilation, further impacting on breathlessness. Devices for sputum clearance may be employed to aid mucus expectoration. This trial aimed to explore the effectiveness of a combined IMT and high-frequency airway oscillating (HFAO) device in the management of dyspnoea. Methods: This was a double-blinded, randomised sham-controlled trial which recruited symptomatic patients with COPD. Patients were randomised to either a HFAO device (Aerosure) or sham device for 8 weeks, three times a day. The primary outcome was the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire dyspnoea (CRQ-D) domain. Pre-specified subgroup analyses were performed including those with respiratory muscle weakness, excessive sputum and frequent exacerbators. Results: 104 participants (68% men, mean (SD) age 69.75 years (7.41), forced expiratory volume in 1 s per cent predicted 48.22% (18.75)) were recruited to this study with 96 participants completing. No difference in CRQ-D was seen between groups (0·28, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.75, p=0.24), though meaningful improvements were seen over time in both groups (mean (SD) HFAO 0.45 (0.78), p<0.01; sham 0.73 (1.09), p<0.01). Maximal inspiratory pressure significantly improved in the HFAO group over sham (5.26, 95% CI 0.34 to 10.19, p=0.05). Similar patterns were seen in the subgroup analysis. Conclusion: There were no statistical differences between the HFAO and the sham group in improving dyspnoea measured by the CRQ-D.
  • Risankizumab in Severe Asthma - A Phase 2a, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    Brightling, Christopher (2021)
    Background: Interleukin-23 has been implicated in airway inflammation that is mediated by type 2 and type 17 cytokines. Whether targeting interleukin-23 in the treatment of asthma improves disease control and reduces airway inflammation is unclear. Methods: We conducted a phase 2a, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week, parallel-group trial to assess the efficacy and safety of risankizumab, an anti-interleukin-23p19 monoclonal antibody, in adults with severe asthma. Patients were assigned to receive 90 mg of risankizumab or placebo, administered subcutaneously once every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the time to the first asthma worsening. Asthma worsening was defined as deterioration from baseline on 2 or more consecutive days; deterioration was considered to be a decrease of at least 30% in the morning peak expiratory flow or an increase from baseline of at least 50% in the number of puffs of rescue medication in a 24-hour period (equating to at least four additional puffs), a severe asthma exacerbation, or an increase of 0.75 or more points on the 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ-5; scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating less control). Secondary end points were the annualized rate of asthma worsening, the annualized rate of severe exacerbations, the ACQ-5 score, and the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Exploratory end points were assessed with the use of sputum cytologic analysis and gene expression analysis, and safety was assessed. Results: A total of 105 patients received risankizumab and 109 received placebo. The clinical characteristics of the patients were similar in the two groups. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter with risankizumab than with placebo (median, 40 days vs. 86 days; hazard ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 2.04; P = 0.03). The rate ratio for annualized asthma worsening with risankizumab as compared with placebo was 1.49 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.99), and the rate ratio for severe exacerbations was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.70). Sputum transcriptomic pathway analysis showed that genes involved in the activation of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells and the activation of the type 1 helper T and type 17 helper T transcription factors were down-regulated by risankizumab. No safety concerns were associated with risankizumab therapy. Conclusions: Risankizumab treatment was not beneficial in severe asthma. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter and the annualized rate of asthma worsening was higher with risankizumab than with placebo. (Funded by AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02443298.).
  • Risankizumab in severe asthma - a phase 2a, placebo-controlled trial

    Brightling, Christopher
    Background: Interleukin-23 has been implicated in airway inflammation that is mediated by type 2 and type 17 cytokines. Whether targeting interleukin-23 in the treatment of asthma improves disease control and reduces airway inflammation is unclear. Methods: We conducted a phase 2a, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week, parallel-group trial to assess the efficacy and safety of risankizumab, an anti-interleukin-23p19 monoclonal antibody, in adults with severe asthma. Patients were assigned to receive 90 mg of risankizumab or placebo, administered subcutaneously once every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the time to the first asthma worsening. Asthma worsening was defined as deterioration from baseline on 2 or more consecutive days; deterioration was considered to be a decrease of at least 30% in the morning peak expiratory flow or an increase from baseline of at least 50% in the number of puffs of rescue medication in a 24-hour period (equating to at least four additional puffs), a severe asthma exacerbation, or an increase of 0.75 or more points on the 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ-5; scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating less control). Secondary end points were the annualized rate of asthma worsening, the annualized rate of severe exacerbations, the ACQ-5 score, and the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Exploratory end points were assessed with the use of sputum cytologic analysis and gene expression analysis, and safety was assessed. Results: A total of 105 patients received risankizumab and 109 received placebo. The clinical characteristics of the patients were similar in the two groups. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter with risankizumab than with placebo (median, 40 days vs. 86 days; hazard ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 2.04; P = 0.03). The rate ratio for annualized asthma worsening with risankizumab as compared with placebo was 1.49 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.99), and the rate ratio for severe exacerbations was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.70). Sputum transcriptomic pathway analysis showed that genes involved in the activation of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells and the activation of the type 1 helper T and type 17 helper T transcription factors were down-regulated by risankizumab. No safety concerns were associated with risankizumab therapy. Conclusions: Risankizumab treatment was not beneficial in severe asthma. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter and the annualized rate of asthma worsening was higher with risankizumab than with placebo. (Funded by AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02443298.).
  • The variability of volatile organic compounds in the indoor air of clinical environments

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Zhao, Bo; Singapuri, Amisha; McNally, Teresa; Free, Robert; Greening, Neil; Gaillard, Erol; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman (2021-11-01)
    The development of clinical breath-analysis is confounded by the variability of background volatile organic compounds (VOC). Reliable interpretation of clinical breath-analysis at individual, and cohort levels requires characterisation of clinical-VOC levels and exposures. Active-sampling with thermal-desorption/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry recorded and evaluated VOC concentrations in 245 samples of indoor air from three sites in a large NHS provider trust in the UK over 27 months. Data deconvolution, alignment and clustering isolated 7344 features attributable to VOC and described the variability (composition and concentration) of respirable clinical VOC. 328 VOC were observed in more than 5% of the samples and 68 VOC appeared in more than 30% of samples. Common VOC were associated with exogenous and endogenous sources and 17 VOC were identified as seasonal differentiators. The presence of metabolites from the anaesthetic sevoflurane, and putative-disease biomarkers in room air, indicated that exhaled VOC were a source of background-pollution in clinical breath-testing activity. With the exception of solvents, and PPE waxes, exhaled VOC concentrations above 3 µg m-3are unlikely to arise from room air contamination, and in the absence of extensive survey-data, this level could be applied as a threshold for inclusion in studies, removing a potential environmental confounding-factor in developing breath-based diagnostics.
  • Change in V˙O 2peak in Response to Aerobic Exercise Training and the Relationship With Exercise Prescription in People With COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Ward, Thomas J.C.; Jones, Amy V.; Trethewey, Ruth; Divall, Pip; Singh, Sally; Steiner, Michael; Evans, Rachael (2020-07)
    Background: Despite the wide-ranging benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, conflicting results remain regarding whether people with COPD can improve their peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2peak) with aerobic training. Research question: The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of aerobic training and exercise prescription on V˙O2peak in COPD. Study design and methods: A systematic review was performed by using MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane databases for all studies measuring V˙O2peak prior to and following supervised lower-limb aerobic training in COPD. A random effects meta-analysis limited to randomized controlled trials comparing aerobic training vs usual care was conducted. Other study designs were included in a secondary meta-analysis and meta-regression to investigate the influence of program and patient factors on outcome. Results: A total of 112 studies were included (participants, N = 3,484): 21 controlled trials (n = 489), of which 13 were randomized (n = 288) and 91 were uncontrolled (n = 2,995) studies. Meta-analysis found a moderate positive change in V˙O2peak (standardized mean difference, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34-0.69) with the intervention. The change in V˙O2peak was positively associated with target duration of exercise session (P = .01) and, when studies > 1 year duration were excluded, greater total volume of exercise training (P = .01). Similarly, the change in V˙O2peak was greater for programs > 12 weeks compared with those 6 to 12 weeks when adjusted for age and sex. However, reported prescribed exercise intensity (P = .77), training modality (P > .35), and mode (P = .29) did not affect V˙O2peak. Cohorts with more severe airflow obstruction exhibited smaller improvements in V˙O2peak (P < .001). Interpretation: Overall, people with COPD achieved moderate improvements in V˙O2peak through supervised aerobic training. There is sufficient evidence to show that programs with greater total exercise volume, including duration of exercise session and program duration, are more effective. Reduced effects in severe disease suggest alternative aerobic training methods may be needed in this population.
  • The impact of ethnicity on clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review

    Pan, Daniel; Sze, Shirley; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Williams, Caroline; Squire, Iain; Khunti, Kamlesh; Pareek, Manish
    Background: The relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 is uncertain. We performed a systematic review to assess whether ethnicity has been reported in patients with COVID-19 and its relation to clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and PROSPERO for English-language citations on ethnicity and COVID-19 (1st December 2019-15th May 2020). We also reviewed: COVID-19 articles in NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, clinical trial protocols, grey literature, surveillance data and preprint articles on COVID-19 in MedRxiv to evaluate if the association between ethnicity and clinical outcomes were reported and what they showed. PROSPERO:180654. Findings: Of 207 articles in the database search, five reported ethnicity; two reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 690 articles identified from medical journals, 12 reported ethnicity; three reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 209 preprints, 34 reported ethnicity - 13 found Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and 12 reported worse clinical outcomes, including ITU admission and mortality, in BAME patients compared to White patients. Of 12 grey literature reports, seven with original data reported poorer clinical outcomes in BAME groups compared to White groups. Interpretation: Data on ethnicity in patients with COVID-19 in the published medical literature remains limited. However, emerging data from the grey literature and preprint articles suggest BAME individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to White individuals and also worse clinical outcomes from COVID-19. Further work on the role of ethnicity in the current pandemic is of urgent public health importance.