Recent Submissions

  • ERS International Congress 2023: highlights from the Respiratory Clinical Care and Physiology Assembly

    Latimer, Lorna (2024-05-20)
    It is a challenge to keep abreast of all the clinical and scientific advances in the field of respiratory medicine. This article contains an overview of laboratory-based science, clinical trials and qualitative research that were presented during the 2023 European Respiratory Society International Congress within the sessions from the five groups of Assembly 1 (Respiratory Clinical Care and Physiology). Selected presentations are summarised from a wide range of topics: clinical problems, rehabilitation and chronic care, general practice and primary care, electronic/mobile health (e-health/m-health), clinical respiratory physiology, exercise and functional imaging.
  • Airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma: the role of the epithelium

    Bradding, Peter; Brightling, Christopher (2024-05)
    Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a key clinical feature of asthma. The presence of AHR in people with asthma provides the substrate for bronchoconstriction in response to numerous diverse stimuli, contributing to airflow limitation and symptoms including breathlessness, wheeze, and chest tightness. Dysfunctional airway smooth muscle significantly contributes to AHR and is displayed as increased sensitivity to direct pharmacologic bronchoconstrictor stimuli, such as inhaled histamine and methacholine (direct AHR), or to endogenous mediators released by activated airway cells such as mast cells (indirect AHR). Research in in vivo human models has shown that the disrupted airway epithelium plays an important role in driving inflammation that mediates indirect AHR in asthma through the release of cytokines such as thymic stromal lymphopoietin and IL-33. These cytokines upregulate type 2 cytokines promoting airway eosinophilia and induce the release of bronchoconstrictor mediators from mast cells such as histamine, prostaglandin D2, and cysteinyl leukotrienes. While bronchoconstriction is largely due to airway smooth muscle contraction, airway structural changes known as remodeling, likely mediated in part by epithelial-derived mediators, also lead to airflow obstruction and may enhance AHR. In this review, we outline the current knowledge of the role of the airway epithelium in AHR in asthma and its implications on the wider disease. Increased understanding of airway epithelial biology may contribute to better treatment options, particularly in precision medicine.
  • The paradox of haemodialysis: the lived experience of the clocked treatment of chronic illness

    Burton, James O; Hull, Katherine L (2024-03)
    Studies exploring the relationship between time and chronic illness have generally focused on measurable aspects of time, also known as linear time. Linear time follows a predictable, sequential order of past, present and future; measured using a clock and predicated on normative assumptions. Sociological concepts addressing lifecourse disruption following diagnosis of chronic illness have served to enhance the understanding of lived experience. To understand the nuanced relationship between time and chronic illness, however, requires further exploration. Here, we show how the implicit assumptions of linear time meet in tension with the lived experience of chronic illness. We draw on interviews and photovoice work with people with end-stage kidney disease in receipt of in-centre-daytime haemodialysis to show how the clocked treatment of chronic illness disrupts experiences of time. Drawing on concepts of 'crip' and 'chronic' time we argue that clocked treatment and the lived experience of chronic illness converge at a paradox whereby clocked treatment allows for the continuation of linear time yet limits freedom. We use the concept of 'crip time' to challenge the normative assumptions implicit within linear concepts of time and argue that the understanding of chronic illness and its treatment would benefit from a 'cripped' starting point.
  • Pegargiminase plus first-line chemotherapy in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma: the ATOMIC-Meso randomized clinical trial

    Fennell, Dean A (2024-04-01)
    Importance: Arginine deprivation using ADI-PEG20 (pegargiminase) combined with chemotherapy is untested in a randomized study among patients with cancer. ATOMIC-Meso (ADI-PEG20 Targeting of Malignancies Induces Cytotoxicity-Mesothelioma) is a pivotal trial comparing standard first-line chemotherapy plus pegargiminase or placebo in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma. Objective: To determine the effect of pegargiminase-based chemotherapy on survival in nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma, an arginine-auxotrophic tumor. Design, setting, and participants: This was a phase 2-3, double-blind randomized clinical trial conducted at 43 centers in 5 countries that included patients with chemotherapy-naive nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma from August 1, 2017, to August 15, 2021, with at least 12 months' follow-up. Final follow-up was on August 15, 2022. Data analysis was performed from March 2018 to June 2023. Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive weekly intramuscular pegargiminase (36.8 mg/m2) or placebo. All patients received intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) and platinum (75-mg/m2 cisplatin or carboplatin area under the curve 5) chemotherapy every 3 weeks up to 6 cycles. Pegargiminase or placebo was continued until progression, toxicity, or 24 months. Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was overall survival, and secondary end points were progression-free survival and safety. Response rate by blinded independent central review was assessed in the phase 2 portion only. Results: Among 249 randomized patients (mean [SD] age, 69.5 [7.9] years; 43 female individuals [17.3%] and 206 male individuals [82.7%]), all were included in the analysis. The median overall survival was 9.3 months (95% CI, 7.9-11.8 months) with pegargiminase-chemotherapy as compared with 7.7 months (95% CI, 6.1-9.5 months) with placebo-chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] for death, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.55-0.93; P = .02). The median progression-free survival was 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.8-7.4 months) with pegargiminase-chemotherapy as compared with 5.6 months (95% CI, 4.1-5.9 months) with placebo-chemotherapy (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46-0.90; P = .02). Grade 3 to 4 adverse events with pegargiminase occurred in 36 patients (28.8%) and with placebo in 21 patients (16.9%); drug hypersensitivity and skin reactions occurred in the experimental arm in 3 patients (2.4%) and 2 patients (1.6%), respectively, and none in the placebo arm. Rates of poststudy treatments were comparable in both arms (57 patients [45.6%] with pegargiminase vs 58 patients [46.8%] with placebo). Conclusions and relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of arginine depletion with pegargiminase plus chemotherapy, survival was extended beyond standard chemotherapy with a favorable safety profile in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma. Pegargiminase-based chemotherapy as a novel antimetabolite strategy for mesothelioma validates wider clinical testing in oncology. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02709512. PubMed Disclaimer
  • Long COVID clinical severity types based on symptoms and functional disability: A longitudinal evaluation

    Balasundaram, Kumaran (2024-03-26)
    Background: Long COVID (LC) is a multisystem clinical syndrome with functional disability and compromised overall health. Information on LC clinical severity types is emerging in cross-sectional studies. This study explored the pattern and consistency of long COVID (LC) clinical severity types over time in a prospective sample. Methods: Participants with LC completed the condition-specific outcome measure C19-YRSm (Yorkshire Rehabilitation Scale modified version) at two assessment time points. A cluster analysis for clinical severity types was undertaken at both time points using the k-means partition method. Results: The study included cross-sectional data for 759 patients with a mean age of 46.8 years (SD = 12.7), 69.4% females, and a duration of symptoms of 360 days (IQR 217 to 703 days). The cluster analysis at first assessment revealed three distinct clinical severity type clusters: mild (n = 96), moderate (n = 422), and severe (n = 241). Longitudinal data on 356 patients revealed that the pattern of three clinical severity types remained consistent over time between the two assessments, with 51% of patients switching clinical severity types between the assessments. Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that the pattern of three clinical severity types is consistent over time, with patients also switching between severity types, indicating the fluctuating nature of LC.
  • Comparative analysis of symptom profile and risk of death associated with infection by SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in Hong Kong

    Tang, Julian (2024-02)
    The recurrent multiwave nature of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) necessitates updating its symptomatology. We characterize the effect of variants on symptom presentation, identify the symptoms predictive and protective of death, and quantify the effect of vaccination on symptom development. With the COVID-19 cases reported up to August 25, 2022 in Hong Kong, an iterative multitier text-matching algorithm was developed to identify symptoms from free text. Multivariate regression was used to measure associations between variants, symptom development, death, and vaccination status. A least absolute shrinkage and selection operator technique was used to identify a parsimonious set of symptoms jointly associated with death. Overall, 70.9% (54 450/76 762) of cases were symptomatic with 102 symptoms identified. Intrinsically, the wild-type and delta variant caused similar symptoms among unvaccinated symptomatic cases, whereas the wild-type and omicron BA.2 subvariant had heterogeneous patterns, with seven symptoms (fatigue, fever, chest pain, runny nose, sputum production, nausea/vomiting, and sore throat) more frequent in the BA.2 cohort. With ≥2 vaccine doses, BA.2 was more likely than delta to cause fever among symptomatic cases. Fever, blocked nose, pneumonia, and shortness of breath remained jointly predictive of death among unvaccinated symptomatic elderly in the wild-type-to-omicron transition. Number of vaccine doses required for reducing occurrence varied by symptoms. We substantiate that omicron has a different clinical presentation compared to previous variants. Syndromic surveillance can be bettered with reduced reliance on symptom-based case identification, increased weighing on symptoms predictive of death in outcome prediction, individual-based risk assessment in care homes, and incorporating free-text symptom reporting.
  • Cardiac related pleural effusions: a narrative review

    Panchal, Rakesh; Wijayaratne, Thisarana (2024-02-29)
    Background and objective: Pleural effusions (PEs) are commonly seen in various pathologies and have a significant impact on patient health and quality of life. Unlike for malignant PEs, non-malignant PEs (NMPEs) do not have well-established guidelines. Much of the evidence base in this field is from a handful of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and the majority are from retrospective cohort analyses and cases series. Cardiac related PEs fall within the entity of NMPEs and the aim of this narrative review is to gather the existing evidence in the field of congestive heart failure (CHF), pericarditis and post-cardiac injury syndrome (PCIS). This narrative review investigates the pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria and treatment options for the various cause of cardiac related PEs. Methods: This narrative review is based on a comprehensive literature search analysing RCTs, prospective and retrospective cohort analyses and published case series. Key content and findings: CHF related PEs have a substantial mortality rate and carry a worse prognosis if the PEs are bilateral and transudative in nature. Light's criteria have often shown to misclassify transudative effusions in CHF (pseudo-exudates) and hence measuring serum-pleural albumin gradient is an invaluable tool to accurately identify transudates. Elevated serum and pleural N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has shown increasing evidence of correctly identifying PEs secondary to CHF. However, they should be considered with the pre-test probability of CHF. Therapeutic thoracentesis and indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) placement may be necessary if medical management has failed. PEs can also occur secondary to pericarditis and are often small, bilateral and exudative. PCIS also results in PEs and are commonly seen in post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Both entities need management of the underlying cause first, but in cases where PEs are refractory, individualised pleural interventions may be necessary. Conclusions: This comprehensive narrative review provides valuable insights into the aetiology, diagnosis and management of PEs secondary to CHF, pericarditis and PCIS. The aim is to enhance the clinicians' knowledge of this complex and controversial topic to improve patient care of cardiac-related PEs. Ongoing trials in this field will be able to provide valuable insights.
  • Changes in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep following pulmonary rehabilitation: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

    Manifield, James; Singh, Sally; Ward, Thomas J.C. (2024-04-10)
    Background: The variety of innovations to traditional centre-based pulmonary rehabilitation (CBPR), including different modes of delivery and adjuncts, are likely to lead to differential responses in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. Objectives: To examine the relative effectiveness of different pulmonary rehabilitation-based interventions on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. Methods: Randomised trials in chronic respiratory disease involving pulmonary rehabilitation-based interventions were systematically searched for. Network meta-analyses compared interventions for changes in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in COPD. Results: 46 studies were included, and analyses were performed on most common outcomes: steps per day (k=24), time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; k=12) and sedentary time (k=8). There were insufficient data on sleep outcomes (k=3). CBPR resulted in greater steps per day and MVPA and reduced sedentary time compared to usual care. CBPR+physical activity promotion resulted in greater increases in steps per day compared to both usual care and CBPR, with greater increases in MVPA and reductions in sedentary time compared to usual care, but not CBPR. Home-based pulmonary rehabilitation resulted in greater increases in steps per day and decreases in sedentary time compared to usual care. Compared to usual care, CBPR+physical activity promotion was the only intervention where the lower 95% confidence interval for steps per day surpassed the minimal important difference. No pulmonary rehabilitation-related intervention resulted in greater increases in MVPA or reductions in sedentary time compared to CBPR. Conclusion: The addition of physical activity promotion to pulmonary rehabilitation improves volume of physical activity, but not intensity, compared to CBPR. High risk of bias and low certainty of evidence suggests that these results should be viewed with caution. Copyright ©The authors 2024.
  • Interferon-gamma release assay conversion after mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure specifically associates with greater risk of progression to tuberculosis: A prospective cohort study in Leicester, UK

    Haldar, Pranabashis; Kim, Jee Whang; Lee, Joanne; Nazareth, Joshua; Patel, Hemu; Verma, Raman; Woltmann, Gerrit (2024-04)
    Objectives: We investigated whether quantifying the serial QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) response improves tuberculosis (TB) risk stratification in pulmonary TB (PTB) contacts. Methods: A total of 297 untreated adult household PTB contacts, QFT tested at baseline and 3 months after index notification, were prospectively observed (median 1460 days). Normal variance of serial QFT responses was established in 46 extrapulmonary TB contacts. This informed categorisation of the response in QFT-positive PTB contacts as converters, persistently QFT-positive with significant increase (PPincrease), and without significant increase (PPno-increase). Results: In total, eight co-prevalent TB (disease ≤3 months after index notification) and 12 incident TB (>3 months after index notification) cases were diagnosed. Genetic linkage to the index strain was confirmed in all culture-positive progressors. The cumulative 2-year incident TB risk in QFT-positive contacts was 8.4% (95% confidence interval, 3.0-13.6%); stratifying by serial QFT response, significantly higher risk was observed in QFT converters (28%), compared with PPno-increase (4.8%) and PPincrease (3.7%). Converters were characterised by exposure to index cases with a shorter interval from symptom onset to diagnosis (median reduction 50.0 days, P = 0.013). Conclusions: QFT conversion, rather than quantitative changes of a persistently positive serial QFT response, is associated with greater TB risk and exposure to rapidly progressive TB.
  • A systematic review of the barriers and facilitators impacting patient enrolment in clinical trials for lung cancer

    Darlison, Liz (2024-03-19)
    Purpose: Clinical research trials are needed to enhance the medical care and treatment for lung cancer, which remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. While clinical trials allow for the development of novel therapies to treat cancer, the recruitment of lung cancer patients to trials is low. This review aimed to identify and synthesise the available literature concerning barriers and facilitators affecting lung cancer patients' decisions to enrol in clinical trials to guide future cancer research efforts. Methods: Four databases were systematically searched: Academic Search Complete, CINHAL, PubMed, and PsycINFO in August 2023. A supplemental grey literature search was also conducted alongside this. Articles were quality appraised using CASP and JMI checklists, and results were narratively synthesised. Results: Eighteen articles of varied design met the inclusion criteria, and results were mapped onto the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) Model to help structure and conceptualise review findings. Evidence suggests that the decision to enrol in a trial is multifaceted and informed by: when and how study information is presented, travel and trial eligibility, and altruistic hopes and fears. Conclusions: There is need to address the many different concerns that lung cancer patients have about participating in a clinical trial through the supply of accessible and timely trial information, and via the reduction of travel, expansion of study eligibility criteria, and recognition of a person's altruistic wishes, hopes, fears, and family-oriented concerns. Future research should aim to work alongside lung cancer patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders to increase research accessibility.
  • Assessing inhaled corticosteroid adherence and responsiveness in severe asthma using beclometasone dipropionate/formoterol NEXThaler™ dose-counting and nitric oxide monitoring

    Aung, Hnin; Balasundaram, Kumaran; Bell, Mark; Bradding, Peter; Boddy, Claire E; Hampson, Eleanor; Murphy, Anna; Naveed, Shamsa; Parnell, Lauren
    Background: 65% of people with severe asthma and a FeNO ≥45 ppb are non-adherent to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Digital devices recording both time-of-use and inhaler technique identify non-adherence and ICS responsiveness but are not widely available. As the NEXThaler™ dose counter only activates at an inspiratory flow of 35 L/min, this may provide an alternative to identifying ICS responsiveness. Objective: To assess ICS adherence and responsiveness in severe asthma using beclometasone/formoterol (200/6 mcg) NEXThaler™ (BFN) dose-counting. Methods: Severe asthmatics with a FeNO ≥45 ppb were invited to use BFN in place of their usual ICS/long-acting β2-agonist (LABA). FeNO, ACQ6, lung function and blood eosinophil count were monitored for 3 months. A log10ΔFeNO ≥0.24 was used to define FeNO suppression as the primary marker of ICS responsiveness at day 28. Results: 27/48 (56%) patients demonstrated significant FeNO suppression at month 1 (median pre-114, post-48 ppb, p<0.001). A small but significant reduction occurred in FeNO non-suppressors. ACQ6 fell a median 1.2 units in FeNO suppressors (p<0.001) and 0.5 units in non-suppressors (p=0.025). These effects were sustained until month 3 in FeNO suppressors with a significant improvement in FEV1 and blood eosinophils. 67% (18/27) of those with baseline ICS/LABA prescription refills of ≥80% were FeNO suppressors suggesting prior non-adherence despite adequate prescription collection. 79% of FeNO suppressors did not require biologics within mean 11.4 months from initial dose counting. Conclusion: BFN dose counting identifies ICS responsiveness in severe asthma with the implication that these patients may not need to progress to biological therapies.
  • Post-acute COVID-19 neuropsychiatric symptoms are not associated with ongoing nervous system injury

    Brightling, Christopher; Evans, Rachael; Harris, Victoria; Sereno, Marco; Houchen-Wolloff, Linzy (2023-12-27)
    A proportion of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 experience a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms months after infection, including cognitive deficits, depression and anxiety. The mechanisms underpinning such symptoms remain elusive. Recent research has demonstrated that nervous system injury can occur during COVID-19. Whether ongoing neural injury in the months after COVID-19 accounts for the ongoing or emergent neuropsychiatric symptoms is unclear. Within a large prospective cohort study of adult survivors who were hospitalized for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, we analysed plasma markers of nervous system injury and astrocytic activation, measured 6 months post-infection: neurofilament light, glial fibrillary acidic protein and total tau protein. We assessed whether these markers were associated with the severity of the acute COVID-19 illness and with post-acute neuropsychiatric symptoms (as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire for depression, the General Anxiety Disorder assessment for anxiety, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment for objective cognitive deficit and the cognitive items of the Patient Symptom Questionnaire for subjective cognitive deficit) at 6 months and 1 year post-hospital discharge from COVID-19. No robust associations were found between markers of nervous system injury and severity of acute COVID-19 (except for an association of small effect size between duration of admission and neurofilament light) nor with post-acute neuropsychiatric symptoms. These results suggest that ongoing neuropsychiatric symptoms are not due to ongoing neural injury.
  • A tailored psychological intervention for anxiety and depression management in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: TANDEM RCT and process evaluation

    Barradell, Amy; Singh, Sally (2024-01)
    Background: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have high levels of anxiety and depression, which is associated with increased morbidity and poor uptake of effective treatments, such as pulmonary rehabilitation. Cognitive-behavioural therapy improves mental health of people with long-term conditions and could potentially increase uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation, enabling synergies that could enhance the mental health of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Aim: Our aim was to develop and evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a tailored cognitive-behavioural approach intervention, which links into, and optimises the benefits of, routine pulmonary rehabilitation. Design: We carried out a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial using a 1.25 : 1 ratio (intervention : control) with a parallel process evaluation, including assessment of fidelity. Setting: Twelve NHS trusts and five Clinical Commissioning Groups in England were recruited into the study. The intervention was delivered in participant's own home or at a local NHS facility, and by telephone. Participants: Between July 2017 and March 2020 we recruited adults with moderate/very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mild/moderate anxiety and/or depression, meeting eligibility criteria for assessment for pulmonary rehabilitation. Carers of participants were invited to participate. Intervention: The cognitive-behavioural approach intervention (i.e. six to eight 40- to 60-minute sessions plus telephone support throughout pulmonary rehabilitation) was delivered by 31 trained respiratory healthcare professionals to participants prior to commencing pulmonary rehabilitation. Usual care included routine pulmonary rehabilitation referral. Main outcome measures: Co-primary outcomes were Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - anxiety and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - depression at 6 months post randomisation. Secondary outcomes at 6 and 12 months included health-related quality of life, smoking status, uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation and healthcare use. Results: We analysed results from 423 randomised participants (intervention, n = 242; control, n = 181). Forty-three carers participated. Follow-up at 6 and 12 months was 93% and 82%, respectively. Despite good fidelity for intervention delivery, mean between-group differences in Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at 6 months ruled out clinically important effects (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - anxiety mean difference -0.60, 95% confidence interval -1.40 to 0.21; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - depression mean difference -0.66, 95% confidence interval -1.39 to 0.07), with similar results at 12 months. There were no between-group differences in any of the secondary outcomes. Sensitivity analyses did not alter these conclusions. More adverse events were reported for intervention participants than for control participants, but none related to the trial. The intervention did not generate quality-of-life improvements to justify the additional cost (adjusted mean difference £770.24, 95% confidence interval -£27.91 to £1568.39) to the NHS. The intervention was well received and many participants described positive affects on their quality of life. Facilitators highlighted the complexity of participants' lives and considered the intervention to be of potential valuable; however, the intervention would be difficult to integrate within routine clinical services. Our well-powered trial delivered a theoretically designed intervention with good fidelity. The respiratory-experienced facilitators were trained to deliver a low-intensity cognitive-behavioural approach intervention, but high-intensity cognitive-behavioural therapy might have been more effective. Our broad inclusion criteria specified objectively assessed anxiety and/or depression, but participants were likely to favour talking therapies. Randomisation was concealed and blinding of outcome assessment was breached in only 15 participants. Conclusions: The tailored cognitive-behavioural approach intervention delivered with fidelity by trained respiratory healthcare professionals to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was neither clinically effective nor cost-effective. Alternative approaches that are integrated with routine long-term condition care are needed to address the unmet, complex clinical and psychosocial needs of this group of patients. Trial registration: This trial is registered as ISRCTN59537391. Funding: This award was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme (NIHR award ref: 13/146/02) and is published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 28, No. 1. See the NIHR Funding and Awards website for further award information.
  • Resistant anemia in a kidney transplant recipient: pure red cell aplasia due to parvovirus B19 infection

    Choudry, Hassan; Chattah, Fetah; Shalla, Hilal; Ghullam, Farooq; Jesus-Silva, Jorge (2024-02-10)
    Anemia in kidney transplant recipients can stem from a diverse array of etiologies, including dietary deficiencies, inflammatory processes, allograft dysfunction, as well as viral and bacterial infections. We present a case of refractory anemia in a 49-year-old male patient occurring within the initial month following a kidney transplant, which persisted despite numerous transfusions, posing a formidable challenge. The patient was maintained on the standard immunosuppressant regimen-Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate, and Prednisolone. Diagnostic evaluations eliminated well-established causes such as dietary deficiencies, gastrointestinal losses, and prevalent infections. Subsequently, after viral PCR testing, a diagnosis of Pure Red Cell Aplasia (PRCA) due to infection with parvovirus B19 was made. Although the patient had a reduction in the immunosuppression drugs and received a course of Intravenous Immunoglobulins (IVIG) on two separate occasions spanning two months, the anemia relapsed. Subsequently, after an additional dose of IVIG with further modification and reduction of the immunosuppressant regimen, including stopping the mycophenolate and switching tacrolimus with cyclosporine, the patient ultimately achieved successful resolution of his symptoms and a significant decrease in viral load. Our case highlights the significance of unconventional etiologies when confronted with anemia in the setting of kidney transplantation. Furthermore, it also provides further insights into therapeutic avenues for addressing PRCA in kidney transplant recipients.
  • Impact of CFTR modulators on exercise capacity in adolescents with cystic fibrosis

    Dayman, Naomi; Blyth, Natalie; Madge, Joe; Gaillard, Erol (2024-02-19)
    Background: Exercise capacity is an independent predictor of clinical worsening in cystic fibrosis (CF). There is limited evidence of the impact of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators on exercise capacity in children with CF. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of CFTR modulators on exercise capacity in a cohort of adolescents with CF. Methods: A prospective single-centre cohort study was carried out. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) was performed at baseline, prior to starting Symkevi or Kaftrio and between 4 and 8 months after starting treatment. Results: 19 adolescents with CF had CPET performed prior to and after CFTR modulator treatment, between December 2019 and March 2022. Breathing reserve improved in the whole cohort, with greater improvement in the modulator-naïve patients after starting treatment with Kaftrio. There was no improvement in peak oxygen uptake and anaerobic threshold after 4 to 8 months of treatment with CFTR modulators. Conclusion: Exercise testing with CPET can be used as an additional tool to monitor response to CFTR modulators. Breathing reserve on CPET may provide a surrogate marker to monitor the improvement in CF lung disease with CFTR modulator treatment.
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation for individuals with persistent symptoms following COVID-19

    Daynes, Enya; Mills, George; McAuley, Hamish J C; Singh, Sally J; Greening, Neil J (2024-01-19)
    Topic importance: COVID-19 can cause ongoing and persistent symptoms (such as breathlessness and fatigue) that lead to reduced functional capacity. There are parallels in symptoms and functional limitations in adults with post-COVID symptoms and adults with chronic respiratory diseases. Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a key treatment for adults with chronic respiratory diseases with the aims to improve symptom management, increase functional capacity. Given the similarities in presentation and aims, a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme may be optimally placed to meet the needs of those with ongoing symptoms following COVID-19. Review findings: Aerobic and strength training has shown benefit for adults living with Long COVID though there is little evidence on structured education in this population. Breathing pattern disorder is common in adults with Long COVID and considerations to treatment prior to rehabilitation, or alongside rehabilitation are necessary. Considerations to Post Exertional Malaise is important in this population and evidence from the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome literature supports the need for individualisation of exercise programmes, and considerations for those that have an adverse reaction to activity and/or exercise. Summary: This narrative review summarises the current evidence of Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes in a long COVID population. Where the evidence is lacking in long COVID the supporting evidence of these programmes in chronic respiratory diseases has highlighted the importance of aerobic and strength training, considerations for fatigue, potential mechanism for immunology improvement and management of breathing pattern disorders in these programmes.
  • PET-CT-guided characterisation of progressive, preclinical tuberculosis infection and its association with low-level circulating mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in household contacts in Leicester, UK: a prospective cohort study

    Haldar, Pranabashis; Kamil, Anver; Nazareth, Joshua; Sharifpour, Meedya; Verma, Raman; Woltmann, Gerrit (2024-01-17)
    Background: Incipient tuberculosis, a progressive state of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection with an increased risk of developing into tuberculosis disease, remains poorly characterised. Animal models suggest an association of progressive infection with bacteraemia. Circulating M tuberculosis DNA has previously been detected in pulmonary tuberculosis by use of Actiphage, a bacteriophage-based real-time PCR assay. We aimed to investigate whether serial [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG)-PET-CT could be used to characterise the state and progressive trajectory of incipient tuberculosis, and examine whether these PET-CT findings are associated with Actiphage-based detection of circulating M tuberculosis DNA. Methods: We did a prospective 12-month cohort study in healthy, asymptomatic adults (aged ≥16 years) who were household contacts of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, and who had a clinical phenotype of latent tuberculosis infection, in Leicester, UK. Actiphage testing of participants' blood samples was done at baseline, and [18F]FDG PET-CT at baseline and after 3 months. Baseline PET-CT features were classified as positive, indeterminate, or negative, on the basis of the quantitation (maximum standardised uptake value [SUVmax]) and distribution of [18F]FDG uptake. Microbiological sampling was done at amenable sites of [18F]FDG uptake. Changes in [18F]FDG uptake after 3 months were quantitatively categorised as progressive, stable, or resolving. Participants received treatment if features of incipient tuberculosis, defined as microbiological detection of M tuberculosis or progressive PET-CT change, were identified. Findings: 20 contacts were recruited between Aug 5 and Nov 5, 2020; 16 of these participants had a positive result on IFNγ release assay (QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus [QFT]) indicating tuberculosis infection. Baseline PET-CT scans were positive in ten contacts (all QFT positive), indeterminate in six contacts (three QFT positive), and negative in four contacts (three QFT positive). Four of eight PET-CT-positive contacts sampled had M tuberculosis identified (three through culture, one through Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra test) from intrathoracic lymph nodes or bronchial wash and received full antituberculosis treatment. Two further unsampled PET-CT-positive contacts were also treated: one with [18F]FDG uptake in the lung (SUVmax 9·4) received empirical antituberculosis treatment and one who showed progressive [18F]FDG uptake received preventive treatment. The ten untreated contacts with [18F]FDG uptake at baseline (seven QFT positive) had stable or resolving changes at follow-up and remained free of tuberculosis disease after 12 months. A positive baseline Actiphage test was associated with the presence of features of incipient tuberculosis requiring treatment (p=0·018). Interpretation: Microbiological and inflammatory features of incipient tuberculosis can be visualised on PET-CT and are associated with M tuberculosis detection in the blood, supporting the development of pathogen-directed blood biomarkers of tuberculosis risk. Funding: MRC Confidence in Concept.
  • Real-world experience of nintedanib for progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease in the UK

    Khan, Fasihu; Toor, Sameen (2024-01-15)
    Background: Nintedanib slows progression of lung function decline in patients with progressive fibrosing (PF) interstitial lung disease (ILD) and was recommended for this indication within the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service in Scotland in June 2021 and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in November 2021. To date, there has been no national evaluation of the use of nintedanib for PF-ILD in a real-world setting. Methods: 26 UK centres were invited to take part in a national service evaluation between 17 November 2021 and 30 September 2022. Summary data regarding underlying diagnosis, pulmonary function tests, diagnostic criteria, radiological appearance, concurrent immunosuppressive therapy and drug tolerability were collected via electronic survey. Results: 24 UK prescribing centres responded to the service evaluation invitation. Between 17 November 2021 and 30 September 2022, 1120 patients received a multidisciplinary team recommendation to commence nintedanib for PF-ILD. The most common underlying diagnoses were hypersensitivity pneumonitis (298 out of 1120, 26.6%), connective tissue disease associated ILD (197 out of 1120, 17.6%), rheumatoid arthritis associated ILD (180 out of 1120, 16.0%), idiopathic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (125 out of 1120, 11.1%) and unclassifiable ILD (100 out of 1120, 8.9%). Of these, 54.4% (609 out of 1120) were receiving concomitant corticosteroids, 355 (31.7%) out of 1120 were receiving concomitant mycophenolate mofetil and 340 (30.3%) out of 1120 were receiving another immunosuppressive/modulatory therapy. Radiological progression of ILD combined with worsening respiratory symptoms was the most common reason for the diagnosis of PF-ILD. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the use of nintedanib for the treatment of PF-ILD across a broad range of underlying conditions. Nintedanib is frequently co-prescribed alongside immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapy. The use of nintedanib for the treatment of PF-ILD has demonstrated acceptable tolerability in a real-world setting.

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