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2.  Chronic Bronchitis and Current Smoking Are Associated with More Goblet Cells in Moderate to Severe COPD and Smokers without Airflow Obstruction 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116108.
Background
Goblet cell hyperplasia is a classic but variable pathologic finding in COPD. Current literature shows that smoking is a risk factor for chronic bronchitis but the relationship of these clinical features to the presence and magnitude of large airway goblet cell hyperplasia has not been well described. We hypothesized that current smokers and chronic bronchitics would have more goblet cells than nonsmokers or those without chronic bronchitis (CB), independent of airflow obstruction.
Methods
We recruited 15 subjects with moderate to severe COPD, 12 healthy smokers, and 11 healthy nonsmokers. Six endobronchial mucosal biopsies per subject were obtained by bronchoscopy and stained with periodic acid Schiff-Alcian Blue. Goblet cell density (GCD) was quantified as goblet cell number per millimeter of basement membrane. Mucin volume density (MVD) was quantified as volume of mucin per unit area of basement membrane.
Results
Healthy smokers had a greater GCD and MVD than nonsmokers and COPD subjects. COPD subjects had a greater GCD than nonsmokers. When current smokers (healthy smokers and COPD current smokers, n = 19) were compared with all nonsmokers (nonsmoking controls and COPD ex-smokers, n = 19), current smokers had a greater GCD and MVD. When those with CB (n = 12) were compared to those without CB (n = 26), the CB group had greater GCD. This finding was also seen in those with CB in the COPD group alone. In multivariate analysis, current smoking and CB were significant predictors of GCD using demographics, lung function, and smoking pack years as covariates. All other covariates were not significant predictors of GCD or MVD.
Conclusions
Current smoking is associated with a more goblet cell hyperplasia and number, and CB is associated with more goblet cells, independent of the presence of airflow obstruction. This provides clinical and pathologic correlation for smokers with and without COPD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116108
PMCID: PMC4315442  PMID: 25646735
3.  Histone 3.3 Participates in a Self-Sustaining Cascade of Apoptosis That Contributes to the Progression of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: Shifts in the gene expression of nuclear protein in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive disease that is characterized by extensive lung inflammation and apoptosis, are common; however, the extent of the elevation of the core histones, which are the major components of nuclear proteins and their consequences in COPD, has not been characterized, which is important because extracellular histones are cytotoxic to endothelial and airway epithelial cells.
Objectives: To investigate the role of extracellular histones in COPD disease progression.
Methods: We analyzed the nuclear lung proteomes of ex-smokers with and without the disease. Further studies on the consequences of H3.3 were also performed.
Measurements and Main Results: A striking finding was a COPD-specific eightfold increase of hyperacetylated histone H3.3. The hyperacetylation renders H3.3 resistant to proteasomal degradation despite ubiquitination; when combined with the reduction in proteasome activity that is known for COPD, this resistance helps account for the increased levels of H3.3. Using anti-H3 antibodies, we found H3.3 in the airway lumen, alveolar fluid, and plasma of COPD samples. H3.3 was cytotoxic to lung structural cells via a mechanism that involves the perturbation of Ca2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial toxicity. We used the primary human airway epithelial cells and found that the antibodies to either the C or N terminus of H3 could partially reverse H3.3 toxicity.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that there is an uncontrolled positive feedback loop in which the damaged cells release acetylated H3.3, which causes more damage, adds H3.3 release, and contributes toward the disease progression.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201302-0342OC
PMCID: PMC3826185  PMID: 23924319
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; histone H3.3; acetylation; cytotoxicity; proteomics
4.  Airway wall thickness is increased in COPD patients with bronchodilator responsiveness 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):84.
Rationale
Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) is a common but variable phenomenon in COPD. The CT characteristics of airway dimensions that differentiate COPD subjects with BDR from those without BDR have not been well described. We aimed to assess airway dimensions in COPD subjects with and without BDR.
Methods
We analyzed subjects with GOLD 1–4 disease in the COPDGene® study who had CT airway analysis. We divided patients into two groups: BDR + (post bronchodilator ΔFEV1 ≥ 10%) and BDR-(post bronchodilator ΔFEV1 < 10%). The mean wall area percent (WA%) of six segmental bronchi in each subject was quantified using VIDA. Using 3D SLICER, airway wall thickness was also expressed as the square root wall area of an airway of 10 mm (Pi10) and 15 mm (Pi15) diameter. %Emphysema and %gas trapping were also calculated.
Results
2355 subjects in the BDR-group and 1306 in the BDR + group formed our analysis. The BDR + group had a greater Pi10, Pi15, and mean segmental WA% compared to the BDR-group. In multivariate logistic regression using gender, race, current smoking, history of asthma, %emphysema, %gas trapping, %predicted FEV1, and %predicted FVC, airway wall measures remained independent predictors of BDR. Using a threshold change in FEV1 ≥ 15% and FEV1 ≥ 12% and 200 mL to divide patients into groups, the results were similar.
Conclusion
BDR in COPD is independently associated with CT evidence of airway pathology. This study provides us with greater evidence of changes in lung structure that correlate with physiologic manifestations of airflow obstruction in COPD.
doi:10.1186/s12931-014-0084-3
PMCID: PMC4198908  PMID: 25248436
Bronchodilator responsiveness; Airway wall thickness; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Airflow obstruction
5.  Clinical and computed tomographic predictors of chronic bronchitis in COPD: a cross sectional analysis of the COPDGene study 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):52.
Background
Chronic bronchitis (CB) has been related to poor outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). From a clinical standpoint, we have shown that subjects with CB in a group with moderate to severe airflow obstruction were younger, more likely to be current smokers, male, Caucasian, had worse health related quality of life, more dyspnea, and increased exacerbation history compared to those without CB. We sought to further refine our clinical characterization of chronic bronchitics in a larger cohort and analyze the CT correlates of CB in COPD subjects. We hypothesized that COPD patients with CB would have thicker airways and a greater history of smoking, acute bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, and occupational exposures compared to those without CB.
Methods
We divided 2703 GOLD 1–4 subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene®) Study into two groups based on symptoms: chronic bronchitis (CB+, n = 663, 24.5%) and no chronic bronchitis (CB-, n = 2040, 75.5%). Subjects underwent extensive clinical characterization, and quantitative CT analysis to calculate mean wall area percent (WA%) of 6 segmental airways was performed using VIDA PW2 (http://www.vidadiagnostics.com). Square roots of the wall areas of bronchi with internal perimeters 10 mm and 15 mm (Pi10 and Pi15, respectively), % emphysema, %gas trapping, were calculated using 3D Slicer (http://www.slicer.org).
Results
There were no differences in % emphysema (11.4 ± 12.0 vs. 12.0 ± 12.6%, p = 0.347) or % gas trapping (35.3 ± 21.2 vs. 36.3 ± 20.6%, p = 0.272) between groups. Mean segmental WA% (63.0 ± 3.2 vs. 62.0 ± 3.1%, p < 0.0001), Pi10 (3.72 ± 0.15 vs. 3.69 ± 0.14 mm, p < 0.0001), and Pi15 (5.24 ± 0.22 vs. 5.17 ± 0.20, p < 0.0001) were greater in the CB + group. Greater percentages of gastroesophageal reflux, allergic rhinitis, histories of asthma and acute bronchitis, exposures to dusts and occupational exposures, and current smokers were seen in the CB + group. In multivariate binomial logistic regression, male gender, Caucasian race, a lower FEV1%, allergic rhinitis, history of acute bronchitis, current smoking, and increased airway wall thickness increased odds for having CB.
Conclusions
Histories of asthma, allergic rhinitis, acute bronchitis, current smoking, a lower FEV1%, Caucasian race, male gender, and increased airway wall thickness are associated with CB. These data provide clinical and radiologic correlations to the clinical phenotype of CB.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-52
PMCID: PMC4067738  PMID: 24766722
Chronic bronchitis; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Airway thickening; Asthma
6.  Randomized Trial of Zileuton for Treatment of COPD Exacerbations Requiring Hospitalization 
COPD  2011;8(1):21-29.
Rationale
Leukotrienes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute exacerbations of COPD, but leukotriene modifiers have not been studied as a possible therapy for exacerbations.
Objective
We sought to test the safety and efficacy of adding oral zileuton (a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor) to usual treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD requiring hospitalization.
Methods
Randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of zileuton 600 mg orally, 4 times daily versus placebo for 14 days starting within 12 hours of hospital admission for COPD exacerbation. Primary outcome measure was hospital length of stay; secondary outcomes included treatment failure and biomarkers of leukotriene production.
Main Findings
Sixty subjects were randomized to zileuton and 59 to placebo (the study was stopped short of enrollment goals because of slow recruitment). There was no difference in hospital length of stay (3.75±2.19 vs. 3.86±3.06 days for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.39) or treatment failure (23% vs. 27% for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.63) despite a decline in urinary LTE4 levels in the zileuton-treated group as compared to placebo at 24 hours (change in natural log-transformed ng/mg creatinine −1.38± 1.19 vs. 0.14±1.51, p<0.0001) and 72 hours (−1.32±2.08 vs. 0.26±1.93, p<0.006). Adverse events were similar in both groups.
Principal Conclusions
While oral zileuton during COPD exacerbations that require hospital admission is safe and reduces urinary LTE4 levels, we found no evidence suggesting that this intervention shortened hospital stay, with the limitation that our sample size may have been insufficient to detect a modest but potentially meaningful clinical improvement.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2010.540273
PMCID: PMC3775706  PMID: 21299475
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD); Leukotrienes; Zileuton; Clinical trial
7.  Long-term Comparative Immunogenicity of Protein Conjugate and Free Polysaccharide Pneumococcal Vaccines in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
The Food and Drug Adminstration recently approved a diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for adults, although its long-term immunogenicity is unknown. We report that, in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, conjugate vaccination elicits a superior immune response to free-polysaccharide vaccine that persists for >2 years.
Background. Although the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) protects against invasive disease in young healthy persons, randomized controlled trials in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have demonstrated no benefit in the intention-to-treat population. We previously reported that the 7-valent diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PCV7) is safe and induced greater serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and functional antibody than did PPSV23 1 month after vaccination. We hypothesized that these advantages would persist at 1 and 2 years.
Methods. One hundred eighty-one patients with moderate to severe COPD were randomized to receive PPSV23 (n = 90) or PCV7 (1.0 mL; n = 91). We measured IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and assessed functional antibody activity by a standardized opsonophagocytosis assay, reported as a killing index (OPK). We determined differences in IgG and OPK between vaccine groups at 1 and 2 years.
Results. Relative to PPSV23, PCV7 induced greater OPK at both 1 and 2 years for 6 of 7 serotypes (not 19F). This response was statistically greater for 5 of 7 serotypes at 1 year and 4 of 7 at 2 years. Comparable differences in IgG were observed but were less often statistically significant. Despite meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for PPSV23 administration, almost 50% of individuals had never been vaccinated. No differences in the frequency of acute exacerbations, pneumonia, or hospitalization were observed.
Conclusions. PCV7 induces a greater functional antibody response than PPSV23 in patients with COPD that persists for 2 years after vaccination. This superior functional response supports testing of conjugate vaccination in studies examining clinical end points.
Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00457977.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis513
PMCID: PMC3491850  PMID: 22652582
8.  A combined pulmonary -radiology workshop for visual evaluation of COPD: study design, chest CT findings and concordance with quantitative evaluation 
COPD  2012;9(2):151-159.
The purposes of this study were: to describe chest CT findings in normal non-smoking controls and cigarette smokers with and without COPD; to compare the prevalence of CT abnormalities with severity of COPD; and to evaluate concordance between visual and quantitative chest CT (QCT) scoring
Methods
Volumetric inspiratory and expiratory CT scans of 294 subjects, including normal non-smokers, smokers without COPD, and smokers with GOLD Stage I-IV COPD, were scored at a multi-reader workshop using a standardized worksheet. There were fifty-eight observers (33 pulmonologists, 25 radiologists); each scan was scored by 9–11 observers. Interobserver agreement was calculated using kappa statistic. Median score of visual observations was compared with QCT measurements.
Results
Interobserver agreement was moderate for the presence or absence of emphysema and for the presence of panlobular emphysema; fair for the presence of centrilobular, paraseptal, and bullous emphysema subtypes and for the presence of bronchial wall thickening; and poor for gas trapping, centrilobular nodularity, mosaic attenuation, and bronchial dilation. Agreement was similar for radiologists and pulmonologists. The prevalence on CT readings of most abnormalities (e.g. emphysema, bronchial wall thickening, mosaic attenuation, expiratory gas trapping) increased significantly with greater COPD severity, while the prevalence of centrilobular nodularity decreased. Concordances between visual scoring and quantitative scoring of emphysema, gas trapping and airway wall thickening were 75%, 87% and 65%, respectively.
Conclusions
Despite substantial inter-observer variation, visual assessment of chest CT scans in cigarette smokers provides information regarding lung disease severity; visual scoring may be complementary to quantitative evaluation.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.654923
PMCID: PMC3752926  PMID: 22429093
9.  Automated Telecommunication to Obtain Longitudinal Follow-up in a Multicenter Cross-sectional COPD Study 
COPD  2012;9(5):466-472.
Background
It can be challenging to maintain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in clinical studies. COPDGene is a multicenter, observational study designed to identify genetic factors associated with COPD and to characterize COPD-related phenotypes. To obtain follow-up data on patient's vital status and outcomes, the COPDGene Longitudinal Follow-up (LFU) Program was developed to supplement its parent study.
Methods/Results
We used a telecommunication system that employed automated telephone contact or web-based questions to obtain longitudinal follow-up data in our subjects. A branching questionnaire asked about exacerbations, new therapies, smoking status, development of co-morbid conditions, and general health status. Study coordinators contacted subjects who did not respond to one of the automated methods. We enrolled 10,383 subjects in the COPDGene study. As of August 29, 2011, 7,959 subjects completed 19,955 surveys. On the first survey, 68.8% of subjects who completed their survey did so by electronic means, while 31.3% required coordinator phone follow-up. On each subsequent survey the number of subjects who completed their survey by electronic means increased, while the number of subjects who required coordinator follow-up decreased. Despite many of the patients in the cohort being chronically ill and elderly, there was broad acceptance of the system with over half the cohort using electronic response methods.
Conclusions
The COPDGene LFU Study demonstrated that telecommunications was an effective way to obtain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in a large multicenter study. Web-based and automated phone contacts are accepted by research subjects and could serve as a model for LFU in future studies.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.690010
PMCID: PMC3698488  PMID: 22676387
COPD; COPDGene; Emphysema; Longitudinal data collection; Exacerbations; Follow-up studies; Elderly
10.  LUNG DEFLATION AND OXYGEN PULSE IN COPD: RESULTS FROM THE NETT RANDOMIZED TRIAL 
Respiratory medicine  2011;106(1):109-119.
Background
In COPD patients, hyperinflation impairs cardiac function. We examined whether lung deflation improves oxygen pulse, a surrogate marker of stroke volume.
Methods
In 129 NETT patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and arterial blood gases (ABG substudy), hyperinflation was assessed with residual volume to total lung capacity ratio (RV/TLC), and cardiac function with oxygen pulse (O2 pulse=VO2/HR) at baseline and 6 months. Medical and surgical patients were divided into “deflators” and “non-deflators” based on change in RV/TLC from baseline (ΔRV/TLC). We defined deflation as the ΔRV/TLC experienced by 75% of surgical patients. We examined changes in O2 pulse at peak and similar (iso-work) exercise. Findings were validated in 718 patients who underwent CPET without ABGs.
Results
In the ABG substudy, surgical and medical deflators improved their RV/TLC and peak O2 pulse (median ΔRV/TLC −18.0% vs. −9.3%, p=0.0003; median ΔO2 pulse 13.6% vs. 1.8%, p=0.12). Surgical deflators also improved iso-work O2 pulse (0.53 mL/beat, p=0.04 at 20 watts). In the validation cohort, surgical deflators experienced a greater improvement in peak O2 pulse than medical deflators (mean 18.9% vs. 1.1%). In surgical deflators improvements in O2 pulse at rest and during unloaded pedaling (0.32 mL/beat, p<0.0001 and 0.47 mL/beat, p<0.0001, respectively) corresponded with significant reductions in HR and improvements in VO2. On multivariate analysis, deflators were 88% more likely than non-deflators to have an improvement in O2 pulse (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.30–2.72, p=0.0008).
Conclusion
In COPD, decreased hyperinflation through lung volume reduction is associated with improved O2 pulse.
doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2011.07.012
PMCID: PMC3233645  PMID: 21843930
cardiac function; hyperinflation; lung volume reduction surgery; oxygen pulse
11.  The National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) 
Substantial information regarding the role of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) in severe emphysema emanates from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT). The NETT was not a crossover trial and therefore was able to examine the effects of optimal medical management and LVRS on short- and long-term survival, as well as lung function, exercise performance, and quality of life. The NETT generated multiple insights into the preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative management of patients undergoing thoracotomy; described pain control techniques that were safe and effective; and emphasized the need to address nonpulmonary issues to optimize surgical outcomes. After the NETT, newer investigation has focused on bronchoscopic endobronchial interventions and other techniques less invasive than LVRS to achieve lung reduction. In this review, we summarize what we currently know about the role of LVRS in the treatment of severe emphysema as a result of insights gained from the NETT and provide a brief review of the newer techniques of lung volume reduction.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201103-0455CI
PMCID: PMC3208657  PMID: 21719757
emphysema; COPD; lung volume reduction surgery
12.  Lung Volume Reduction as an Alternative to Transplantation for COPD 
Clinics in chest medicine  2011;32(2):379-397.
Emphysema is disabling and progressive and hallmarked by decreased exercise tolerance and impaired quality of life. Hyperinflation is the sentinel physiological characteristic of emphysema that is responsible for exercise intolerance, dyspnea, impaired quality of life and high mortality. Medical treatment does not alter the progression of emphysema and has little effect on palliating dyspnea or improving functional performance or quality of life. Surgical interventions that reduce lung volume have been the focus of multiple interventions for decades; however, until recently, limited evidence has documented their effectiveness. Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) underwent rigorous study in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), which demonstrated its short and long term effectiveness, associated morbidity and mortality and the essential factors that predict LVRS success or failure. Current investigation focuses on the use of less invasive techniques, predominantly bronchoscopic techniques that reduce lung volume without open thoracotomy. Herein, I summarize the major results of the NETT and briefly review newer bronchoscopic lung volume reduction techniques that show promise as alternative treatments for select COPD patients undergoing consideration for lung transplantation.
doi:10.1016/j.ccm.2011.02.014
PMCID: PMC3086781  PMID: 21511097
13.  Association between inhaled nitric oxide treatment and long-term pulmonary function in survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome 
Critical Care  2012;16(2):R36.
Introduction
Assessment of treatments for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has focused on short-term outcomes (for example, mortality); little information exists regarding long-term effects of ARDS treatment. Survivors of ARDS episodes may have long-term obstructive/restrictive pulmonary abnormalities and pulmonary gas exchange impairment. A 2004 prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial assessed the efficacy and safety of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in patients with non-septic ARDS; the primary endpoint was days alive and off assisted breathing. This analysis examined potential effects of iNO or placebo on pulmonary function six months post-treatment in ARDS survivors from that original study.
Methods
ARDS survivors (N = 92) from a large-scale randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluating mortality after either 5 ppm iNO or placebo for up to 28 days were assessed six months post-treatment. Pulmonary function testing across seven parameters was conducted.
Results
At 6 months post-treatment, results indicated significantly better absolute values for iNO versus placebo for mean ± SD total lung capacity (TLC, 5.54 ± 1.42 vs. 4.81 ± 1.00; P = 0.026). There were also significantly better values for mean ± SD percent predicted values for a) forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1, 80.23 ± 21.21 vs. 69.51 ± 28.97; P = 0.042), b) forced vital capacity (FVC, 83.78 ± 19.37 vs. 69.84 ± 27.40; P = 0.019), c) FEV1/FVC (96.14 ± 13.79 vs. 87.92 ± 19.77; P = 0.033), and d) TLC (93.33 ± 18.21 vs. 76.10 ± 21.84; P < 0.001). Nonsignificant differences were found in absolute FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FVC, forced expiratory flow from 25% to 75% of FVC, functional residual capacity, and CO diffusion.
Conclusions
ARDS patients surviving after treatment with low-dose iNO had significantly better values for select pulmonary function tests at six months post-treatment than placebo-treated patients. Further trials are warranted to determine the effects of iNO on chronic lung function in ARDS survivors, a factor in long-term morbidity and quality of life in this population.
Trial Registration
A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Dose-response Study of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. NCT number: ISRCTN53268296
doi:10.1186/cc11215
PMCID: PMC3681348  PMID: 22386043
14.  Azithromycin for Prevention of Exacerbations of COPD 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(8):689-698.
BACKGROUND
Acute exacerbations adversely affect patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Macrolide antibiotics benefit patients with a variety of inflammatory airway diseases.
METHODS
We performed a randomized trial to determine whether azithromycin decreased the frequency of exacerbations in participants with COPD who had an increased risk of exacerbations but no hearing impairment, resting tachycardia, or apparent risk of prolongation of the corrected QT interval.
RESULTS
A total of 1577 subjects were screened; 1142 (72%) were randomly assigned to receive azithromycin, at a dose of 250 mg daily (570 participants), or placebo (572 participants) for 1 year in addition to their usual care. The rate of 1-year follow-up was 89% in the azithromycin group and 90% in the placebo group. The median time to the first exacerbation was 266 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 227 to 313) among participants receiving azithromycin, as compared with 174 days (95% CI, 143 to 215) among participants receiving placebo (P<0.001). The frequency of exacerbations was 1.48 exacerbations per patient-year in the azithromycin group, as compared with 1.83 per patient-year in the placebo group (P=0.01), and the hazard ratio for having an acute exacerbation of COPD per patient-year in the azithromycin group was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.63 to 0.84; P<0.001). The scores on the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (on a scale of 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating better functioning) improved more in the azithromycin group than in the placebo group (a mean [±SD] decrease of 2.8±12.8 vs. 0.6±11.4, P=0.004); the percentage of participants with more than the minimal clinically important difference of −4 units was 43% in the azithromycin group, as compared with 36% in the placebo group (P=0.03). Hearing decrements were more common in the azithromycin group than in the placebo group (25% vs. 20%, P=0.04).
CONCLUSIONS
Among selected subjects with COPD, azithromycin taken daily for 1 year, when added to usual treatment, decreased the frequency of exacerbations and improved quality of life but caused hearing decrements in a small percentage of subjects. Although this intervention could change microbial resistance patterns, the effect of this change is not known. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00325897.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1104623
PMCID: PMC3220999  PMID: 21864166
15.  Total lung capacity by plethysmography and high-resolution computed tomography in COPD 
Aim
To characterize and compare total lung capacity (TLC) measured by plethysmography with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), and to identify variables that predict the difference between the two modalities.
Methods
Fifty-nine consecutive patients referred for the evaluation of COPD were retrospectively reviewed. Patients underwent full pulmonary function testing and HRCT within 3 months. TLC was obtained by plethysmography as per American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society standards and by HRCT using custom software on 0.75 and 5 mm thick contiguous slices performed at full inspiration (TLC).
Results
TLC measured by plethysmography correlated with TLC measured by inspiratory HRCT (r = 0.92, P < 0.01). TLC measured by plethysmography was larger than that determined by inspiratory HRCT in most patients (mean of 6.46 ± 1.28 L and 5.34 ± 1.20 L respectively, P < 0.05). TLC measured by both plethysmography and HRCT correlated significantly with indices of airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity [FVC] and FVC%), static lung volumes (residual volume, percent predicted [RV%], total lung capacity, percent predicted [TLC%], functional residual capacity, percent predicted [FRC%], and inspiratory capacity, percent predicted), and percent emphysema. TLC by plethysmography and HRCT both demonstrated significant inverse correlations with diffusion impairment. The absolute difference between TLC measured by plethysmography and HRCT increased as RV%, TLC%, and FRC% increased. Gas trapping (RV% and FRC%) independently predicted the difference in TLC between plethysmography and HRCT.
Conclusion
In COPD, TLC by plethysmography can be up to 2 L greater than inspiratory HRCT. Gas trapping independently predicts patients for whom TLC by plethysmography differs significantly from HRCT.
doi:10.2147/COPD.S26419
PMCID: PMC3292389  PMID: 22399851
lung capacity; plethysmography; high-resolution computed tomography; gas trapping; lung volume measurement errors
16.  Survival in Patients Receiving Prolonged Ventilation: Factors that Influence Outcome 
Background:
Prolonged mechanical ventilation is increasingly common. It is expensive and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Our objective is to comprehensively characterize patients admitted to a Ventilator Rehabilitation Unit (VRU) for weaning and identify characteristics associated with survival.
Methods:
182 consecutive patients over 3.5 years admitted to Temple University Hospital (TUH) VRU were characterized. Data were derived from comprehensive chart review and a prospectively collected computerized database. Survival was determined by hospital records and social security death index and mailed questionnaires.
Results:
Upon admission to the VRU, patients were hypoalbuminemic (albumin 2.3 ± 0.6 g/dL), anemic (hemoglobin 9.6 ± 1.4 g/dL), with moderate severity of illness (APACHE II score 10.7 + 4.1), and multiple comorbidities (Charlson index 4.3 + 2.3). In-hospital mortality (19%) was related to a higher Charlson Index score (P = 0.006; OR 1.08–1.6), and APACHE II score (P = 0.016; OR 1.03–1.29). In-hospital mortality was inversely related to admission albumin levels (P = 0.023; OR 0.17–0.9). The presence of COPD as a comorbid illness or primary determinant of respiratory failure and higher VRU admission APACHE II score predicted higher long-term mortality. Conversely, higher VRU admission hemoglobin was associated with better long term survival (OR 0.57–0.90; P = 0.0006).
Conclusion:
Patients receiving prolonged ventilation are hypoalbuminemic, anemic, have moderate severity of illness, and multiple comorbidities. Survival relates to these factors and the underlying illness precipitating respiratory failure, especially COPD.
doi:10.4137/CCRPM.S6649
PMCID: PMC3091409  PMID: 21573034
mechanical ventilation; mortality; weaning; ventilator rehabilitation; anemia; COPD
17.  Pulmonary Hypertension and Computed Tomography Measurement of Small Pulmonary Vessels in Severe Emphysema 
Rationale: Vascular alteration of small pulmonary vessels is one of the characteristic features of pulmonary hypertension in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The in vivo relationship between pulmonary hypertension and morphological alteration of the small pulmonary vessels has not been assessed in patients with severe emphysema.
Objectives: We evaluated the correlation of total cross-sectional area of small pulmonary vessels (CSA) assessed on computed tomography (CT) scans with the degree of pulmonary hypertension estimated by right heart catheterization.
Methods: In 79 patients with severe emphysema enrolled in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), we measured CSA less than 5 mm2 (CSA<5) and 5 to 10 mm2 (CSA5−10), and calculated the percentage of total CSA for the lung area (%CSA<5 and %CSA5–10, respectively). The correlations of %CSA<5 and %CSA5–10 with pulmonary arterial mean pressure (\documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document}) obtained by right heart catheterization were evaluated. Multiple linear regression analysis using \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document} as the dependent outcome was also performed.
Measurements and Main Results: The %CSA<5 had a significant negative correlation with \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document} (r = −0.512, P < 0.0001), whereas the correlation between %CSA5–10 and \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document} did not reach statistical significance (r = −0.196, P = 0.083). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that %CSA<5 and diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (DlCO) % predicted were independent predictors of \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document} (r2 = 0.541): %CSA <5 (P < 0.0001), and DlCO % predicted (P = 0.022).
Conclusions: The %CSA<5 measured on CT images is significantly correlated to \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pmc} \usepackage[Euler]{upgreek} \pagestyle{empty} \oddsidemargin -1.0in \begin{document} \begin{equation*}\overline{Ppa}\end{equation*}\end{document} in severe emphysema and can estimate the degree of pulmonary hypertension.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200908-1189OC
PMCID: PMC2817812  PMID: 19875683
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; pulmonary hypertension; CT
18.  Superior Immune Response to Protein-Conjugate versus Free Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: Debate exists about the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of antibodies produced by the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The 7-valent diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PCV7) induces a more robust immune response than PPSV23 in healthy elderly adults.
Objectives: We hypothesized that serotype-specific IgG antibody concentration and functional antibody activity would be superior after PCV7 vaccination compared with PPSV23 in moderate to severe COPD. We also posited that older age and prior PPSV23 vaccination would be associated with reduced vaccine responsiveness.
Methods: One hundred twenty patients with COPD were randomized to PPSV23 (63 subjects) or PCV7 (57 subjects). IgG concentrations were determined by ELISA; functional antibody activity was assayed with a standardized opsonophagocytosis assay and reported as an opsonization killing index (OPK). Increases in serotype-specific IgG and OPK at 1 month post vaccination were compared within and between vaccine groups.
Measurements and Main Results: Both vaccines were well tolerated. Within each study group, postvaccination IgG and OPK were higher than baseline (P < 0.01) for all serotypes. Adjusted for baseline levels, postvaccination IgG was higher in the PCV7 group than the PPSV23 group for all seven serotypes, reaching statistical significance for five (P < 0.05). PCV7 resulted in a higher OPK for six of seven serotypes (statistically greater for four) compared with PPSV23. In multivariate analyses, younger age, vaccine naivety, and receipt of PCV7 were associated with increased OPK responses.
Conclusions: PCV7 induces a superior immune response at 1 month post vaccination compared with PPSV23 in COPD. Older age and prior PPSV23 reduce vaccine responsiveness.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00457977).
doi:10.1164/rccm.200903-0488OC
PMCID: PMC2742743  PMID: 19556517
pneumococcal vaccines; vaccination, COPD; immune responses; immunization
19.  Integrating Health Status and Survival Data 
Rationale: In studies that address health-related quality of life (QoL) and survival, subjects who die are usually censored from QoL assessments. This practice tends to inflate the apparent benefits of interventions with a high risk of mortality. Assessing a composite QoL-death outcome is a potential solution to this problem.
Objectives: To determine the effect of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) on a composite endpoint consisting of the occurrence of death or a clinically meaningful decline in QoL defined as an increase of at least eight points in the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial.
Methods: In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema randomized to receive medical treatment (n = 610) or LVRS (n = 608), we analyzed the survival to the composite endpoint, the hazard functions and constructed prediction models of the slope of QoL decline.
Measurements and Main Results: The time to the composite endpoint was longer in the LVRS group (2 years) than the medical treatment group (1 year) (P < 0.0001). It was even longer in the subsets of patients undergoing LVRS without a high risk for perioperative death and with upper-lobe-predominant emphysema. The hazard for the composite event significantly favored the LVRS group, although it was most significant in patients with predominantly upper-lobe emphysema. The beneficial impact of LVRS on QoL decline was most significant during the 2 years after LVRS.
Conclusions: LVRS has a significant effect on the composite QoL-survival endpoint tested, indicating its meaningful palliative role, particularly in patients with upper-lobe–predominant emphysema.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200809-1383OC
PMCID: PMC2724716  PMID: 19483114
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; outcome assessment; palliative care; quality of life; survival; emphysema
20.  Circulating Tissue Factor Procoagulant Activity is Elevated in Stable Moderate to Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Thrombosis research  2009;124(3):259-261.
Introduction
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients have increased risk for cardiovascular mortality and venous thromboembolism. Tissue factor (TF) is the physiological initiating mechanism for blood coagulation and is pro-inflammatory.
Methods
We have studied circulating blood-borne TF-procoagulant activity (TF-PCA), plasma coagulation factors (F) VIIa and FVIII, and thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes in 11 stable, moderate-severe COPD patients, 10 free of exacerbation for > 3 weeks.
Results
TF-PCA was increased in COPD patients (52.3 ± 5.6 U/ml, (SE)) compared to control subjects (20.7 ± 1.5, n = 45, p<0.0001). TAT levels were increased (COPD patients: 2.99 ± 0.65 ug/l; control subjects: 1.31 ± 0.13, n = 53, p<0.0001), indicating enhanced thrombin generation. Plasma FVIIa (the activated form of FVII) was higher in COPD (83 ± 11 mU/ml; controls, 64 ± 5 mU/ml, n= 20) but did not reach statistical significance. Plasma FVIIc and FVIII were not increased. TF-PCA levels were inversely related to plasma FVIIa (r = −0.80, p = 0.003) and FVIIc (r=−0.76, p=0.007).
Conclusions
Blood-borne TF-PCA is elevated and constitutes a prothrombotic and proinflammatory state in stable but moderate-severe COPD, and may contribute to the increased risk for vascular events.
doi:10.1016/j.thromres.2008.12.030
PMCID: PMC2877030  PMID: 19162305
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Tissue Factor; Factor VII; Factor VIII; Thrombotic Disease
21.  Cluster analysis in severe emphysema subjects using phenotype and genotype data: an exploratory investigation 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):30.
Background
Numerous studies have demonstrated associations between genetic markers and COPD, but results have been inconsistent. One reason may be heterogeneity in disease definition. Unsupervised learning approaches may assist in understanding disease heterogeneity.
Methods
We selected 31 phenotypic variables and 12 SNPs from five candidate genes in 308 subjects in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) Genetics Ancillary Study cohort. We used factor analysis to select a subset of phenotypic variables, and then used cluster analysis to identify subtypes of severe emphysema. We examined the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of each cluster.
Results
We identified six factors accounting for 75% of the shared variability among our initial phenotypic variables. We selected four phenotypic variables from these factors for cluster analysis: 1) post-bronchodilator FEV1 percent predicted, 2) percent bronchodilator responsiveness, and quantitative CT measurements of 3) apical emphysema and 4) airway wall thickness. K-means cluster analysis revealed four clusters, though separation between clusters was modest: 1) emphysema predominant, 2) bronchodilator responsive, with higher FEV1; 3) discordant, with a lower FEV1 despite less severe emphysema and lower airway wall thickness, and 4) airway predominant. Of the genotypes examined, membership in cluster 1 (emphysema-predominant) was associated with TGFB1 SNP rs1800470.
Conclusions
Cluster analysis may identify meaningful disease subtypes and/or groups of related phenotypic variables even in a highly selected group of severe emphysema subjects, and may be useful for genetic association studies.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-30
PMCID: PMC2850331  PMID: 20233420
22.  Anxiety is associated with diminished exercise performance and quality of life in severe emphysema: a cross-sectional study 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):29.
Background
Anxiety in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with self-reported disability. The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is an association between anxiety and functional measures, quality of life and dyspnea.
Methods
Data from 1828 patients with moderate to severe emphysema enrolled in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), collected prior to rehabilitation and randomization, were used in linear regression models to test the association between anxiety symptoms, measured by the Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and: (a) six-minute walk distance test (6 MWD), (b) cycle ergometry peak workload, (c) St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SRGQ), and (d) UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ), after controlling for potential confounders including age, gender, FEV1 (% predicted), DLCO (% predicted), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
Results
Anxiety was significantly associated with worse functional capacity [6 MWD (B = -0.944, p < .001), ergometry peak workload (B = -.087, p = .04)], quality of life (B = .172, p < .001) and shortness of breath (B = .180, p < .001). Regression coefficients show that a 10 point increase in anxiety score is associated with a mean decrease in 6 MWD of 9 meters, a 1 Watt decrease in peak exercise workload, and an increase of almost 2 points on both the SGRQ and SOBQ.
Conclusion
In clinically stable patients with moderate to severe emphysema, anxiety is associated with worse exercise performance, quality of life and shortness of breath, after accounting for the influence of demographic and physiologic factors known to affect these outcomes.
Trail Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00000606
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-29
PMCID: PMC2848143  PMID: 20214820
23.  Longitudinal Change in the BODE Index Predicts Mortality in Severe Emphysema 
Rationale: The predictive value of longitudinal change in BODE (Body mass index, airflow Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise capacity) index has received limited attention. We hypothesized that decrease in a modified BODE (mBODE) would predict survival in National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) patients.
Objectives: To determine how the mBODE score changes in patients with lung volume reduction surgery versus medical therapy and correlations with survival.
Methods: Clinical data were recorded using standardized instruments. The mBODE was calculated and patient-specific mBODE trajectories during 6, 12, and 24 months of follow-up were estimated using separate regressions for each patient. Patients were classified as having decreasing, stable, increasing, or missing mBODE based on their absolute change from baseline. The predictive ability of mBODE change on survival was assessed using multivariate Cox regression models. The index of concordance was used to directly compare the predictive ability of mBODE and its separate components.
Measurements and Main Results: The entire cohort (610 treated medically and 608 treated surgically) was characterized by severe airflow obstruction, moderate breathlessness, and increased mBODE at baseline. A wide distribution of change in mBODE was seen at follow-up. An increase in mBODE of more than 1 point was associated with increased mortality in surgically and medically treated patients. Surgically treated patients were less likely to experience death or an increase greater than 1 in mBODE. Indices of concordance showed that mBODE change predicted survival better than its separate components.
Conclusions: The mBODE demonstrates short- and intermediate-term responsiveness to intervention in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Increase in mBODE of more than 1 point from baseline to 6, 12, and 24 months of follow-up was predictive of subsequent mortality. Change in mBODE may prove a good surrogate measure of survival in therapeutic trials in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00000606).
doi:10.1164/rccm.200709-1383OC
PMCID: PMC2542428  PMID: 18535255
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; survival; multidimensional index
24.  New Concepts in the Pathobiology of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by an abnormal persistent inflammatory response to cigarette smoke. This noxious insult leads to emphysema and airway remodeling, manifested by squamous and mucous metaplasia of the epithelium, smooth muscle hypertrophy, and airway wall fibrosis. These pathologic abnormalities interact synergistically to cause progressive airflow obstruction. Although it has been accepted that the spectrum of COPD is vast, the reasons for the development of different phenotypes from the same exposure to cigarette smoke have not been determined. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly clear that airways disease and emphysema often coexist in many patients, even with a clear clinical phenotype of either emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Recent studies have focused on the nature of the inflammatory response to cigarette smoke, the inflammatory cell lines responsible for COPD pathogenesis, and new biomarkers for disease activity and progression. New cytokines are being discovered, and the complex interactions among them are being unraveled. The inflammatory biomarker that has received the most attention is C-reactive protein, but new ones that have caught our attention are interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-8, and IL-10. Further research should focus on how these new concepts in lung inflammation interact to cause the various aspects of COPD pathology.
doi:10.1513/pats.200802-014ET
PMCID: PMC2645323  PMID: 18453359
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pathology; airway inflammation; emphysema; inflammatory biomarkers
25.  Comorbidities in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Comorbidities such as cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, and psychological disorders are commonly reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but with great variability in reported prevalence. Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for many of these comorbidities as well as for COPD, making it difficult to draw conclusions about the relationship between COPD and these comorbidities. However, recent large epidemiologic studies have confirmed the independent detrimental effects of these comorbidities on patients with COPD. On the other hand, many of these comorbidities are now considered to be part of the commonly prevalent nonpulmonary sequelae of COPD that are relevant not only to the understanding of the real burden of COPD but also to the development of effective management strategies.
doi:10.1513/pats.200709-148ET
PMCID: PMC2645334  PMID: 18453370
chronic bronchitis; obstructive lung disease; epidemiology

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