Despite the high prevalence of respiratory symptoms and obstructive lung disease in HIV-infected persons, the prevalence of bronchodilator reversibility (BDR) and asthma has not been systematically studied during the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART).
To determine the prevalence of asthma diagnosis and related pulmonary function abnormalities in an HIV-infected cohort and to identify potential mechanisms.
A cross-sectional analysis of 223 HIV-infected individuals with data on respiratory symptoms and diagnoses, pulmonary function, sputum cell counts, and asthma-related cytokines and chemokines in serum/sputum.
Doctor-diagnosed asthma was present in 46 (20.6%) and BDR (≥200ml and ≥12% increase in FEV1 or FVC) in 20 participants (9.0%). Pulmonary symptoms and function were worse in those with doctor-diagnosed asthma. Doctor-diagnosed asthma was independently associated with female sex (p=0.04), body mass index >29.6kg/m2 (vs.<29.6kg/m2) (p=0.03), history of bacterial or Pneumocystis pneumonia (p=0.01), and with not currently taking ART (p=0.04), and in univariate analysis with parental history of asthma (n=180; p=0.004). High sputum eosinophil percentages (>2.3% based on the highest decile) were more likely in those with doctor-diagnosed asthma (p=0.02) or BDR (p=0.02). Doctor-diagnosed asthma tended to be more common with high sputum IL-4 (p=0.02) and RANTES (p=0.02), while BDR was associated with high plasma macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α (p=0.002), and sputum MIP-1β levels (p=0.001).
Asthma diagnosis and BDR are prevalent in an HIV-infected outpatient cohort, and associations with family history, obesity, allergic inflammation, prior infection, the absence of ART, and elevated HIV-stimulated cytokines suggest possible mechanisms of HIV-associated asthma.
HIV; asthma; airway obstruction; allergy
Rationale: The patterns and outcomes of noninvasive, positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) use in patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) nationwide are unknown.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and trends of noninvasive ventilation for acute COPD.
Methods: We used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's Nationwide Inpatient Sample to assess the pattern and outcomes of NIPPV use for acute exacerbations of COPD from 1998 to 2008.
Measurements and Main Results: An estimated 7,511,267 admissions for acute exacerbations occurred from 1998 to 2008. There was a 462% increase in NIPPV use (from 1.0 to 4.5% of all admissions) and a 42% decline in invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) use (from 6.0 to 3.5% of all admissions) during these years. This was accompanied by an increase in the size of a small cohort of patients requiring transition from NIPPV to IMV. In-hospital mortality in this group appeared to be worsening over time. By 2008, these patients had a high mortality rate (29.3%), which represented 61% higher odds of death compared with patients directly placed on IMV (95% confidence interval, 24–109%) and 677% greater odds of death compared with patients treated with NIPPV alone (95% confidence interval, 475–948%). With the exception of patients transitioned from NIPPV to IMV, in-hospital outcomes were favorable and improved steadily year by year.
Conclusions: The use of NIPPV has increased significantly over time among patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of COPD, whereas the need for intubation and in-hospital mortality has declined. However, the rising mortality rate in a small but expanding group of patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation after treatment with noninvasive ventilation needs further investigation.
COPD; positive-pressure ventilation; artificial respiration; epidemiology
In COPD patients, hyperinflation impairs cardiac function. We examined whether lung deflation improves oxygen pulse, a surrogate marker of stroke volume.
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.
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).
In COPD, decreased hyperinflation through lung volume reduction is associated with improved O2 pulse.
cardiac function; hyperinflation; lung volume reduction surgery; oxygen pulse
Pneumocystis jirovecii has been detected in lung tissue from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is associated with disease severity. The regional distribution of the organism in lungs is unknown, but differences in distribution of Pneumocystis could affect estimates of colonization prevalence. We examined the distribution of Pneumocystis in the lungs of 19 non-HIV-infected patients with COPD who were undergoing lung transplantation. DNA was extracted from explanted lungs. We found Pneumocystis colonization in lung tissue of 42.1% of patients with advanced COPD; however, there was significant regional variation in colonization between lung segments of individual patients. Colonization was detected more commonly in the lower and middle lobes than the upper lobes. These findings suggest that single samples from an individual may underestimate the prevalence of Pneumocystis colonization and future studies may obtain a higher yield of Pneumocystis colonization detection when sampling the lower lobes.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Pneumocystis jirovecii; lung
There is increasing interest in the objective measurement of physical activity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients due to the close relationship between physical activity level, health, disability and mortality. We aimed to (a) determine the validity and reproducibility of an activity monitor that integrates accelerometry with multiple physiologic sensors in the determination of energy expenditure in COPD subjects and (b) to document the independent contribution of the additional physiologic sensors to accelerometry measures in improving true energy expenditure determination. Eight subjects (4 male, FEV1 56.4 ± 14.1%, RV 145.0 ± 75.7%) performed 2 separate 6-minute walk and 2 incremental shuttle walk exercise tests. Energy expenditure was calculated during each exercise test using the physiologic activity monitor and compared to a validated exhaled breath metabolic system. Test-retest reproducibility of physiologic activity monitor during the walking tests was comparable to an exhaled breath metabolic system. Physiologic sensor data significantly improved the explained variance in energy expenditure determination (r2= 0.88) compared to accelerometry data alone (r2 = 0.68). This physiologic activity monitor provides a valid and reproducible estimate of energy expenditure during slow to moderate paced walking in a laboratory setting and represents an objective method to assess activity in COPD subjects.
Energy Expenditure; COPD; Ambulatory Monitoring; Exercise Test; Activities Of Daily Living
To study the relationship between emphysema, airflow obstruction and lung cancer in a high risk population we performed quantitative analysis of screening computed tomography (CT) scans.
Subjects completed questionnaires, spirometry and low-dose helical chest CT. Analyses compared cases and controls according to automated quantitative analysis of lung parenchyma and airways measures.
Our case-control study of 117 matched pairs of lung cancer cases and controls did not reveal any airway or lung parenchymal findings on quantitative analysis of screening CT scans that were associated with increased lung cancer risk. Airway measures including wall area %, lumen perimeter, lumen area and average wall HU, and parenchymal measures including lung fraction < −910 Hounsfield Units (HU), were not statistically different between cases and controls.
The relationship between visual assessment of emphysema and increased lung cancer risk could not be verified by quantitative analysis of low-dose screening CT scans in a high risk tobacco exposed population.
Rationale: Studies demonstrating an association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and low bone mineral density (BMD) implicate factors distinct from treatments and severity of lung disease in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Whereas emphysema has been independently associated with vascular disease and other comorbidities, its association with BMD has not been well studied.
Objectives: We explored the associations of BMD with computed tomography (CT) measures of emphysema and other risk factors in current and former smokers.
Methods: One hundred ninety subjects completed a CT scan, pulmonary function testing, questionnaires, and dual x-ray absorptiometry measurements of hip and lumbar spine BMD. Subjects were classified as having normal BMD, osteopenia, or osteoporosis. Demographic, physiologic, and radiographic characteristics were compared and the association of BMD with radiographic emphysema, airflow obstruction, and osteoporosis risk factors was assessed.
Measurements and Main Results: No difference existed in age, tobacco exposure, oral steroid use, or physical activity across BMD categories. Both osteopenia and osteoporosis were associated with the presence of airflow obstruction, inhaled corticosteroid use, and female sex, and demonstrated a significant relationship with the presence of visual emphysema (P = 0.0003). Quantitative emphysema, but not CT-measured indices of airway wall thickness, was inversely associated with BMD. Visual emphysema alone was a significant predictor of osteopenia/osteoporosis (odds ratio = 2.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.24–5.25) in a model including obstruction severity, age, sex, and inhaled and oral steroid use.
Conclusions: Radiographic emphysema is a strong, independent predictor of low BMD in current and former smokers. This relationship suggests a common mechanistic link between emphysema and osteopenia/osteoporosis.
pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; emphysema; osteoporosis
Airway diseases are frequently associated with morphological changes that may affect the physiology of the lungs. Accurate characterization of airways may be useful for quantitatively assessing prognosis and for monitoring therapeutic efficacy. The information gained may also provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of various lung diseases. We developed a computerized scheme to automatically segment the three-dimensional human airway tree depicted on CT images. The method takes advantage of both principal curvatures and principal directions in differentiating airways from other tissues in geometric space. A “puzzle game” procedure is used to identify false negative regions and reduce false positive regions that do not meet the shape analysis criteria. The negative impact of partial volume effects on small airway detection is partially alleviated by repeating the developed differential geometric analysis on lung anatomical structures modeled at multiple iso-values (thresholds). In addition to having advantages, such as full automation, easy implementation and relative insensitivity to image noise and/or artifacts, this scheme has virtually no leakage issues and can be easily extended to the extraction or the segmentation of other tubular type structures (e.g., vascular tree). The performance of this scheme was assessed quantitatively using 75 chest CT examinations acquired on 45 subjects with different slice thicknesses and using 20 publicly available test cases that were originally designed for evaluating the performance of different airway tree segmentation algorithms.
airway tree segmentation; differential geometry; computer-aided detection; lung CT
Tobacco use is associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease. N-terminal pro-brain natiuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a widely available biomarker that is associated with cardiovascular outcomes in other conditions, has not been investigated as a predictor of mortality in tobacco smokers. We hypothesized that NT-proBNP would be an independent prognostic marker in a cohort of well-characterized tobacco smokers without known cardiovascular disease.
Clinical data from 796 subjects enrolled in two prospective tobacco exposed cohorts was assessed to determine factors associated with elevated NT-proBNP and the relationship of these factors and NT-proBNP with mortality.
Subjects were followed for a median of 562 (IQR 252 – 826) days. Characteristics associated with a NT-proBNP above the median (≥49 pg/mL) were increased age, female gender, and decreased body mass index. By time-to-event analysis, an NT-proBNP above the median (≥49 pg/mL) was a significant predictor of mortality (log rank p = 0.02). By proportional hazard analysis controlling for age, gender, cohort, and severity of airflow obstruction, an elevated NT-proBNP level (≥49 pg/mL) remained an independent predictor of mortality (HR = 2.19, 95% CI 1.07–4.46, p = 0.031).
Elevated NT-proBNP is an independent predictor of mortality in tobacco smokers without known cardiovascular disease, conferring a 2.2 fold increased risk of death. Future studies should assess the ability of this biomarker to guide further diagnostic testing and to direct specific cardiovascular risk reduction inventions that may positively impact quality of life and survival.
Rationale: It is unclear if lung perfusion can predict response to lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS).
Objectives: To study the role of perfusion scintigraphy in patient selection for LVRS.
Methods: We performed an intention-to-treat analysis of 1,045 of 1,218 patients enrolled in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial who were non–high risk for LVRS and had complete perfusion scintigraphy results at baseline. The median follow-up was 6.0 years. Patients were classified as having upper or non–upper lobe–predominant emphysema on visual examination of the chest computed tomography and high or low exercise capacity on cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline. Low upper zone perfusion was defined as less than 20% of total lung perfusion distributed to the upper third of both lungs as measured on perfusion scintigraphy.
Measurements and Main Results: Among 284 of 1,045 patients with upper lobe–predominant emphysema and low exercise capacity at baseline, the 202 with low upper zone perfusion had lower mortality with LVRS versus medical management (risk ratio [RR], 0.56; P = 0.008) unlike the remaining 82 with high perfusion where mortality was unchanged (RR, 0.97; P = 0.62). Similarly, among 404 of 1,045 patients with upper lobe–predominant emphysema and high exercise capacity, the 278 with low upper zone perfusion had lower mortality with LVRS (RR, 0.70; P = 0.02) unlike the remaining 126 with high perfusion (RR, 1.05; P = 1.00). Among the 357 patients with non–upper lobe–predominant emphysema (75 with low and 282 with high exercise capacity) there was no improvement in survival with LVRS and measurement of upper zone perfusion did not contribute new prognostic information.
Conclusions: Compared with optimal medical management, LVRS reduces mortality in patients with upper lobe–predominant emphysema when there is low rather than high perfusion to the upper lung.
perfusion; computed tomography; emphysema; mortality; lung volume reduction surgery
Rationale: Before the introduction of combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, patients infected with HIV had an increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function abnormalities. The prevalence and exact phenotype of pulmonary abnormalities in the current era are unknown. In addition, these abnormalities may be underdiagnosed.
Objectives: Our objective was to determine the current burden of respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function abnormalities, and associated risk factors in individuals infected with HIV.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of 167 participants infected with HIV who underwent pulmonary function testing.
Measurements and Main Results: Respiratory symptoms were present in 47.3% of participants and associated with intravenous drug use (odds ratio [OR] 3.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32–10.046; P = 0.01). Only 15% had previous pulmonary testing. Pulmonary function abnormalities were common with 64.1% of participants having diffusion impairment and 21% having irreversible airway obstruction. Diffusion impairment was independently associated with ever smoking (OR 2.46; 95% CI, 1.16–5.21; P = 0.02) and Pneumocystis pneumonia prophylaxis (OR 2.94; 95% CI, 1.10–7.86; P = 0.01), whereas irreversible airway obstruction was independently associated with pack-years smoked (OR 1.03 per pack-year; 95% CI, 1.01–1.05; P < 0.01), intravenous drug use (OR 2.87; 95% CI, 1.15–7.09; P = 0.02), and the use of ARV therapy (OR 6.22; 95% CI, 1.19–32.43; P = 0.03).
Conclusions: Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function abnormalities remain common in individuals infected with HIV. Smoking and intravenous drug use are still important risk factors for pulmonary abnormalities, but ARV may be a novel risk factor for irreversible airway obstruction. Obstructive lung disease is likely underdiagnosed in this population.
HIV; respiratory function tests; smoking; antiretroviral therapy, highly active; AIDS
HIV-infected patients are at increased risk for development of pulmonary complications, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inflammation associated with sub-clinical infection has been postulated to promote COPD. Persistence of Pneumocystis (Pc) is associated with HIV and COPD, although a causal relationship has not been established. We used a simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model of HIV infection to study pulmonary effects of Pc colonization. SHIV-infected/Pc-colonized monkeys developed progressive obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by increased emphysematous tissue and bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue. Elevated Th2 cytokines and pro-inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid coincided with Pc colonization and pulmonary function decline. These results support the concept that an infectious agent contributes to development of HIV-associated lung disease and suggests that Pc colonization may be a risk factor for the development of HIV-associated COPD. Furthermore, this model allows examination of early host responses important to disease progression thus identifying potential therapeutic targets for COPD.
Pneumocystis; COPD; SHIV; AIDS; HIV
Assessment of peak oxygen uptake (VO2) is recommended in the evaluation of patients with borderline pulmonary function as VO2 is the strongest independent predictor of postoperative pulmonary complications. However, the measurement of VO2 requires expensive equipment not available in many medical facilities. The shuttle walking test (SWT) has been proposed to be used as a screening tool prior to performing a cardiopulmonary exercise test. Although an association exists between SWT distance and VO2, only one small study directly measured VO2 during the SWT.
The aim of this study was to further validate the VO2-SWT association by directly measuring VO2 during SWT in a larger cohort of patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Fifty stable COPD patients with mild/severe disease were studied. Each patient performed an SWT while wearing a validated portable metabolic monitor.
Mean VO2 (ml/kg/min) measured after each finalized minute of the SWT was (95% confidence interval): 6 (5–7), 9 (8–10), 11 (10–12), 13 (11–14), 15 (14–16), 18 (16–20) and 21 (18–26) for minutes 1–7, respectively. Patients that completed the British Thoracic Society-recommended 25 shuttles (5 min or 250 m) in the SWT had a mean VO2 of 15 (14–16). The positive predictive value for walking 25 shuttles (predicting a VO2 of ≥15ml/kg/min) was 90% and the negative predictive value was 90%.
Our findings validate the association between VO2 and SWT distance and facilitate the interpretation of the test in general practice, particularly when deciding the candidacy of a patient for surgical resection.
Activities of daily living; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Emphysema; Exercise test; Lung cancer resection; Shuttle walking test
Rationale: Previous investigations have identified several potential predictors of outcomes from lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). A concern regarding these studies has been their small sample size, which may limit generalizability. We therefore sought to examine radiographic and physiologic predictors of surgical outcomes in a large, multicenter clinical investigation, the National Emphysema Treatment Trial.
Objectives: To identify objective radiographic and physiological indices of lung disease that have prognostic value in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease being evaluated for LVRS.
Methods: A subset of the subjects undergoing LVRS in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial underwent preoperative high-resolution computed tomographic (CT) scanning of the chest and measures of static lung recoil at total lung capacity (SRtlc) and inspiratory resistance (Ri). The relationship between CT measures of emphysema, the ratio of upper to lower zone emphysema, CT measures of airway disease, SRtlc, Ri, the ratio of residual volume to total lung capacity (RV/TLC), and both 6-month postoperative changes in FEV1 and maximal exercise capacity were assessed.
Measurements and Main Results: Physiological measures of lung elastic recoil and inspiratory resistance were not correlated with improvement in either the FEV1 (R = −0.03, P = 0.78 and R = –0.17, P = 0.16, respectively) or maximal exercise capacity (R = –0.02, P = 0.83 and R = 0.08, P = 0.53, respectively). The RV/TLC ratio and CT measures of emphysema and its upper to lower zone ratio were only weakly predictive of postoperative changes in both the FEV1 (R = 0.11, P = 0.01; R = 0.2, P < 0.0001; and R = 0.23, P < 0.0001, respectively) and maximal exercise capacity (R = 0.17, P = 0.0001; R = 0.15, P = 0.002; and R = 0.15, P = 0.002, respectively). CT assessments of airway disease were not predictive of change in FEV1 or exercise capacity in this cohort.
Conclusions: The RV/TLC ratio and CT measures of emphysema and its distribution are weak but statistically significant predictors of outcome after LVRS.
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.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; outcome assessment; palliative care; quality of life; survival; emphysema
We investigated the relationship of Pneumocystis colonization, matrix metalloprotease levels in sputum, and airway obstruction in a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected outpatients. Pneumocystis-colonized subjects had worse obstruction of airways and higher levels of matrix metalloprotease-12 in sputa, suggesting that Pneumocystis colonization may be important in HIV-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States but is often under-treated. COPD often overlaps with other conditions such as hypertension and osteoporosis, which are less morbid but which may be treated more aggressively. We evaluated the prevalence of these comorbid conditions and compared testing, patient knowledge, and management in a national sample of patients with COPD.
Methods and Methods
A survey was administered by telephone in 2006 to 1,003 COPD patients to evaluate the prevalence of comorbid conditions, diagnostic testing, knowledge, and management using standardized instruments. The completion rate was 87%.
Among 1,003 patients with COPD, 61% reported moderate or severe dyspnea and 41% a prior hospitalization for COPD. The most prevalent comorbid diagnoses were hypertension (55%), hypercholesterolemia (52%), depression (37%), cataracts (31%) and osteoporosis (28%). Only 10% of respondents knew their FEV1 (95% CI: 8, 12%) compared to 79% who knew their blood pressure (95% CI: 76%, 83%). Seventy-two percent (95% CI: 69%, 75%) reported taking any medication for COPD – usually a short-acting bronchodilator – whereas 87% (95% CI: 84%, 90%) of patients with COPD and hypertension were taking an antihypertensive medication and 72% (95% CI: 68%, 75%) of patients with COPD and hypercholesterolemia were taking a statin.
Although most of these COPD patients in this national sample were symptomatic and many had been hospitalized for COPD, COPD self-knowledge was low and COPD was undertreated compared to generally asymptomatic, less morbid conditions such as hypertension.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; chronic bronchitis; asthma; comorbidities
Identification of pulmonary fissures, which form the boundaries between the lobes in the lungs, may be useful during clinical interpretation of CT examinations to assess the early presence and characterization of manifestation of several lung diseases. Motivated by the unique nature of the surface shape of pulmonary fissures in three-dimensional space, we developed a new automated scheme using computational geometry methods to detect and segment fissures depicted on CT images. After a geometric modeling of the lung volume using the Marching Cube Algorithm, Laplacian smoothing is applied iteratively to enhance pulmonary fissures by depressing non-fissure structures while smoothing the surfaces of lung fissures. Next, an Extended Gaussian Image based procedure is used to locate the fissures in a statistical manner that approximates the fissures using a set of plane “patches.” This approach has several advantages such as independence of anatomic knowledge of the lung structure except the surface shape of fissures, limited sensitivity to other lung structures, and ease of implementation. The scheme performance was evaluated by two experienced thoracic radiologists using a set of 100 images (slices) randomly selected from 10 screening CT examinations. In this preliminary evaluation 98.7% and 94.9% of scheme segmented fissure voxels are within 2 mm of the fissures marked independently by two radiologists in the testing image dataset. Using the scheme detected fissures as reference, 89.4% and 90.1% of manually marked fissure points have distance ≤ 2 mm to the reference suggesting a possible under-segmentation of the scheme. The case-based RMS (root-mean-square) distances (“errors”) between our scheme and the radiologist ranged from 1.48±0.92 to 2.04±3.88 mm. The discrepancy of fissure detection results between the automated scheme and either radiologist is smaller in this dataset than the inter-reader variability.
Pulmonary fissure; Segmentation; Computer-aided detection; Shape analysis; Extended Gaussian Image (EGI)
Rationale: To study the relationship between emphysema and/or airflow obstruction and lung cancer in a high-risk population.
Objective: We studied lung cancer related to radiographic emphysema and spirometric airflow obstruction in tobacco-exposed persons who were screened for lung cancer using chest computed tomography (CT).
Methods: Subjects completed questionnaires, spirometry, and low-dose helical chest CT. CT scans were scored for emphysema based on National Emphysema Treatment Trial criteria. Multiple logistic regressions estimated the independent associations between various factors, including radiographic emphysema and airflow obstruction, and subsequent lung cancer diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Among 3,638 subjects, 57.5, 18.8, 14.6, and 9.1% had no, trace, mild, and moderate–severe emphysema, and 57.3, 13.6, 22.8, and 6.4% had no, mild (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] I), moderate (GOLD II), and severe (GOLD III–IV) airflow obstruction. Of 3,638 subjects, 99 (2.7%) received a lung cancer diagnosis. Adjusting for sex, age, years of cigarette smoking, and number of cigarettes smoked daily, logistic regression showed the expected lung cancer association with the presence of airflow obstruction (GOLD I–IV, odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33–3.27). A second logistic regression showed lung cancer related to emphysema (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 2.21–5.73). After additional adjustments for GOLD class, emphysema remained a strong and statistically significant factor related to lung cancer (OR, 3.14; 95% CI, 1.91–5.15).
Conclusions: Emphysema on CT scan and airflow obstruction on spirometry are related to lung cancer in a high-risk population. Emphysema is independently related to lung cancer. Both radiographic emphysema and airflow obstruction should be considered when assessing lung cancer risk.
emphysema; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung cancer
Prevalence and risk factors for respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in HIV-infected subjects in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) are unknown. We evaluated respiratory symptoms and measured airway obstruction to identify the impact of HAART and other risk factors on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function.
Two hundred thirty-four HIV-infected adults without acute respiratory symptoms were recruited from an HIV clinic. All subjects were interviewed and performed spirometry. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were performed to determine predictors of respiratory symptoms, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) percent predicted, and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC). Thirty-one percent of subjects reported at least one respiratory symptom. Smoking status (current or former versus never) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.41–5.22, p = 0.003), higher log plasma HIV viral levels (OR = 1.12, 95%CI = 1.02–1.24, p = 0.02), and lower FEV1/FVC (OR = 1.06 for every 0.01 decrease in FEV1/FVC, 95%CI = 1.02–1.14, p = 0.001) were independent predictors of respiratory symptoms. Age (p = 0.04), pack-year smoking history (p<0.001), previous bacterial pneumonia (p = 0.007), and HAART use (p = 0.04) were independent predictors of decreased FEV1/FVC.
Respiratory symptoms remain common in HIV-infected subjects, especially in those with a smoking history. Subjects who were older, had a greater pack-year history of smoking, or previous bacterial pneumonia had lower FEV1/FVC ratios. Interestingly, use of HAART was independently associated with a decreased FEV1/FVC, possibly secondary to an immune response to subclinical infections, increased autoimmunity, or other factors associated with HAART use.
Rationale: Adaptive immune responses are present in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it has been postulated that these processes could be autoreactive.
Objectives: To ascertain if humoral autoimmunity could play a role in COPD pathogenesis.
Methods: Circulating IgG autoantibodies were detected by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were used to evaluate intrapulmonary IgG and complement (C3) deposition in human lung explants. Autoantibody pathogenicity was also investigated with an antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity assay.
Measurements and Main Results: The prevalence of anti–HEp-2 epithelial cell autoantibodies in 47 smokers/former smokers with COPD (GOLD stages 1–4) was greater than among 8 subjects with a smoking history but normal spirometry and 21 healthy control subjects who had never smoked (68 vs. 13 vs. 10%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Antibodies against primary pulmonary epithelial cells were found in 12 of 12 patients with COPD versus 3 of 12 never-smoked control subjects (P < 0.001). Self-antigens immunoprecipitated from 34 of 35 (97%) of COPD plasmas (vs. 0/12 never-smoked controls). Antibodies against a particular 130-kD autoantigen (n = 7) were associated with decreased body mass index (23.2 ± 2.1 vs. 29.5 ± 1.0 kg/m2, P = 0.007). Intrapulmonary immune complexes were present in six of six and C3 was seen in five of six COPD lung explants, unlike zero of six and one of six normals, respectively. Cytotoxicity of pulmonary epithelial cells by allogeneic mononuclear cells also increased 46% after incubation with COPD plasmas (n = 10), compared with identical treatments with eight normal specimens (P = 0.03).
Conclusions: IgG autoantibodies with avidity for pulmonary epithelium, and the potential to mediate cytotoxicity, are prevalent in patients with COPD. Autoreactive adaptive immune responses may be important in the etiology of this disease.
autoimmunity; humoral immunity; B cells; emphysema
Rationale: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) has been demonstrated to provide a functional and mortality benefit to a select group of subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The effect of LVRS on COPD exacerbations has not been as extensively studied, and whether improvement in postoperative lung function alters the risk of disease exacerbations is not known.
Objectives: To examine the effect, and mechanism of potential benefit, of LVRS on COPD exacerbations by comparing the medical and surgical cohorts of the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT).
Methods: A COPD exacerbation was defined using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, discharge diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: There was no difference in exacerbation rate or time to first exacerbation between the medical and surgical cohorts during the year before study randomization (P = 0.58 and 0.85, respectively). Postrandomization, the surgical cohort experienced an approximate 30% reduction in exacerbation frequency (P = 0.0005). This effect was greatest in those subjects with the largest postoperative improvement in FEV1 (P = 0.04) when controlling for changes in other spirometric measures of lung function, lung capacities, and room air arterial blood gas tensions. Finally, LVRS increased the time to first exacerbation in both those subjects with and those without a prior history of exacerbations (P = 0.0002 and P < 0.0001, respectively).
Conclusions: LVRS reduces the frequency of COPD exacerbations and increases the time to first exacerbation. One explanation for this benefit may be the postoperative improvement in lung function.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00000606).
COPD; LVRS; exacerbation
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results in significant morbidity and mortality. Smoking has long been recognized as the primary risk factor for development of COPD, but factors determining the severity or pattern of disease in smokers are largely unknown. Recent interest has focused on the potential role of infectious agents and the associated host response in accelerating progression of airway obstruction or in perpetuating its progression following discontinuation of tobacco exposure. Pneumocystis jirovecii is a fungal pathogen that causes pneumonia in immunocompromised individuals. Recent evidence has linked this organism with COPD. Using sensitive molecular techniques, low levels of Pneumocystis have been detected in the respiratory tract of certain individuals and termed colonization. Several findings support the theory that colonization with Pneumocystis is involved in the “vicious circle” hypothesis of COPD in which colonization with organisms perpetuates an inflammatory and lung remodeling response. Pneumocystis colonization is more prevalent in smokers and in those with severe COPD. The presence of Pneumocystis in the lungs, even at low levels, produces inflammatory changes similar to those seen in COPD, with increases in numbers of neutrophils and CD8+ lymphocytes. HIV-infected subjects who have had PCP develop permanent airway obstruction, and HIV-infected patients have a high prevalence of both emphysema and Pneumocystis colonization. In addition, a non-human primate model of colonization shows development of airway obstruction and radiographic emphysema. Additional studies are needed to confirm the role of Pneumocystis in the pathogenesis of COPD, given that this agent might be a treatable co-factor in disease progression.
Pneumocystis; colonization; COPD; lung function
Pneumocystis colonization has been associated with severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The relationship of Pneumocystis antibody status to COPD severity has not been investigated, but antibody levels might relate to both colonization susceptibility and COPD progression. We investigated anti-Pneumocystis antibody titers and airway obstruction in a cohort of patients with COPD. Undetectable anti-Pneumocystis antibody titer was an independent predictor of more-severe airway obstruction, although use of inhaled corticosteroids is a possible confounder of this effect.