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1.  Differences in Adjustment between Individuals with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) Associated COPD and Non-AATD COPD 
COPD  2013;10(2):226-234.
Smokers who have severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) are at risk for developing COPD earlier in life than smokers without AATD, and are likely to experience challenges adjusting to their illness because they are in a highly productive life stage when they are diagnosed with COPD. This study examined whether individuals with AATD-associated COPD differ from individuals with non-AATD COPD with regard to depression, anxiety, dyspnea, and health-related quality of life (HRQL). Cross-sectional data were collected via self-report questionnaires completed by 480 individuals with non-AATD COPD and 578 individuals with AATD-associated COPD under protocols with IRB approval. Multiple linear regression models were used to test whether individuals with non-AATD COPD differed from individuals with AATD-associated COPD with regard to depression, anxiety, dyspnea, and HRQL. All models adjusted for demographic and health characteristics. Individuals with AATD-associated COPD did not report more symptoms of depression or anxiety; however, they did report more dyspnea (B = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.16 to 0.47, p < 0.001) and impairment in HRQL (B = 4.75, 95% CI = 2.10 to 7.41, p < 0.001) than other individuals with COPD. Individuals with AATD-associated COPD were more likely to be a member of a couple (rather than single) and had a higher level of education when compared to individuals with non-AATD COPD. Resources available to persons with AATD-associated COPD, such as being in a serious relationship and having higher education, may offset the effect of age when considering symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with COPD.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.719049
PMCID: PMC3616400  PMID: 23547634
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency; Anxiety; Depression; Dyspnea; Health Status; Psychological Adjustment
2.  Expanded carrier screening panels—does bigger mean better? 
Journal of Community Genetics  2013;5(2):191-198.
doi:10.1007/s12687-013-0169-6
PMCID: PMC3955460  PMID: 24062228
3.  Alcohol Use Predicts ER Visits in Individuals with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) Associated COPD 
COPD  2012;9(4):417-425.
Excessive alcohol use in COPD has been associated with increased mortality; however, little is known about alcohol use in AATD-associated COPD. 538 individuals with AATD-associated COPD completed questionnaires at baseline and 330 also completed 2 years of follow-up questionnaires. Demographic and health information was collected, including information about alcohol use, ER visits for COPD, and hospitalizations for COPD. Problem alcohol use was characterized using the CAGE screening questionnaire and recent alcohol consumption. Demographic and clinical characteristics associated with problem drinking were identified using logistic regression. Problem drinking at baseline was examined as a predictor of ER visits and hospital admissions for COPD in the subsequent two years using logistic regression adjusting for demographic variables and baseline health status. 14% of the sample reported a history of problem drinking per the CAGE and 8% reported problem drinking in the past week. Problem drinking was associated with higher education and greater lifetime tobacco exposure. Recent alcohol consumption was a significant predictor of having an ER visit for COPD in the subsequent two years. Compared to individuals who reported problem drinking in the past week, individuals with no consumption (OR= 0.32, 95% CI= 0.10 to 0.97, p= .043) and individuals with low to moderate consumption (OR= 0.25, 95% CI= 0.08 to 0.77, p= .016) had significantly lower odds of an ER visit. Neither measure of problem drinking predicted hospital admission. Screening for recent excessive alcohol use in this population may identify individuals at risk for use of costly emergency health services.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.684414
PMCID: PMC3603142  PMID: 22651849
Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD); Alcohol Use; Emergency Room Use; Emergency Room Visits
4.  Association of cigarette smoking and CRP levels with DNA methylation in α-1 antitrypsin deficiency 
Epigenetics  2012;7(7):720-728.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency and tobacco smoking are confirmed risk factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We hypothesized that variable DNA methylation would be associated with smoking and inflammation, as reflected by the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in AAT-deficient subjects. Methylation levels of 1,411 autosomal CpG sites from the Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel I were analyzed in 316 subjects. Associations of five smoking behaviors and CRP levels with individual CpG sites and average methylation levels were assessed using non-parametric testing, linear regression and linear mixed effect models, with and without adjustment for age and gender. Univariate linear regression analysis revealed that methylation levels of 16 CpG sites significantly associated with ever-smoking status. A CpG site in the TGFBI gene was the only site associated with ever-smoking after adjustment for age and gender. No highly significant associations existed between age at smoking initiation, pack-years smoked, duration of smoking, and time since quitting smoking as predictors of individual CpG site methylation levels. However, ever-smoking and younger age at smoking initiation associated with lower methylation level averaged across all sites. DNA methylation at CpG sites in the RUNX3, JAK3 and KRT1 genes associated with CRP levels. The most significantly associated CpG sites with gender and age mapped to the CASP6 and FZD9 genes, respectively. In summary, this study identified multiple potential candidate CpG sites associated with ever-smoking and CRP level in AAT-deficient subjects. Phenotypic variability in Mendelian diseases may be due to epigenetic factors.
doi:10.4161/epi.20319
PMCID: PMC3414392  PMID: 22617718
68kDa (TGFBI); C-Reactive Protein (CRP); Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel I; alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency; beta-induced; methylation; smoking behaviors; transforming growth factor
5.  Association of IREB2 and CHRNA3 polymorphisms with airflow obstruction in severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):16.
Background
The development of COPD in subjects with alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is likely to be influenced by modifier genes. Genome-wide association studies and integrative genomics approaches in COPD have demonstrated significant associations with SNPs in the chromosome 15q region that includes CHRNA3 (cholinergic nicotine receptor alpha3) and IREB2 (iron regulatory binding protein 2).
We investigated whether SNPs in the chromosome 15q region would be modifiers for lung function and COPD in AAT deficiency.
Methods
The current analysis included 378 PIZZ subjects in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study and a replication cohort of 458 subjects from the UK AAT Deficiency National Registry. Nine SNPs in LOC123688, CHRNA3 and IREB2 were selected for genotyping. FEV1 percent of predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio were analyzed as quantitative phenotypes. Family-based association analysis was performed in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. In the replication set, general linear models were used for quantitative phenotypes and logistic regression models were used for the presence/absence of emphysema or COPD.
Results
Three SNPs (rs2568494 in IREB2, rs8034191 in LOC123688, and rs1051730 in CHRNA3) were associated with pre-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. Two SNPs (rs2568494 and rs1051730) were associated with the post-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted and pre-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio; SNP-by-gender interactions were observed. In the UK National Registry dataset, rs2568494 was significantly associated with emphysema in the male subgroup; significant SNP-by-smoking interactions were observed.
Conclusions
IREB2 and CHRNA3 are potential genetic modifiers of COPD phenotypes in individuals with severe AAT deficiency and may be sex-specific in their impact.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-13-16
PMCID: PMC3306733  PMID: 22356581
CHRNA3; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Genetic association analysis; Genetic modifiers; IREB2
6.  Efficacy and Safety of Sirolimus in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(17):1595-1606.
BACKGROUND
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a progressive, cystic lung disease in women; it is associated with inappropriate activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which regulates cellular growth and lymphangiogenesis. Sirolimus (also called rapamycin) inhibits mTOR and has shown promise in phase 1–2 trials involving patients with LAM.
METHODS
We conducted a two-stage trial of sirolimus involving 89 patients with LAM who had moderate lung impairment — a 12-month randomized, double-blind comparison of sirolimus with placebo, followed by a 12-month observation period. The primary end point was the difference between the groups in the rate of change (slope) in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).
RESULTS
During the treatment period, the FEV1 slope was −12±2 ml per month in the placebo group (43 patients) and 1±2 ml per month in the sirolimus group (46 patients) (P<0.001). The absolute between-group difference in the mean change in FEV1 during the treatment period was 153 ml, or approximately 11% of the mean FEV1 at enrollment. As compared with the placebo group, the sirolimus group had improvement from baseline to 12 months in measures of forced vital capacity, functional residual capacity, serum vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D), and quality of life and functional performance. There was no significant between-group difference in this interval in the change in 6-minute walk distance or diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide. After discontinuation of sirolimus, the decline in lung function resumed in the sirolimus group and paralleled that in the placebo group. Adverse events were more common with sirolimus, but the frequency of serious adverse events did not differ significantly between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS
In patients with LAM, sirolimus stabilized lung function, reduced serum VEGF-D levels, and was associated with a reduction in symptoms and improvement in quality of life. Therapy with sirolimus may be useful in selected patients with LAM. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; MILES ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00414648.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1100391
PMCID: PMC3118601  PMID: 21410393
7.  Unilateral Pulmonary Artery Aplasia in a Pregnant Patient 
Case Reports in Medicine  2011;2011:806723.
Unilateral pulmonary artery aplasia is a rare anomaly. Case reports of this condition in pregnant patients are even more uncommon and the best approach to management of such patients is still unclear. We report a patient who presented with a history of dyspnea, chest pain, and hemoptysis. Imaging established the diagnosis in a newly pregnant female. Management of the pulmonary artery aplasia patient in pregnancy requires prospective evaluation of pulmonary hypertension.
doi:10.1155/2011/806723
PMCID: PMC3087430  PMID: 21547212
8.  Pharmacokinetic comparability of Prolastin®-C to Prolastin® in alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency: a randomized study 
Background
Alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is characterized by low blood levels of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-PI) and may lead to emphysema. Alpha1-PI protects pulmonary tissue from damage caused by the action of proteolytic enzymes. Augmentation therapy with Prolastin® (Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor [Human]) to increase the levels of alpha1-PI has been used to treat individuals with AAT deficiency for over 20 years. Modifications to the Prolastin manufacturing process, incorporating additional purification and pathogen-reduction steps, have led to the development of an alpha1-PI product, designated Prolastin®-C (Alpha1-Proteinase inhibitor [Human]). The pharmacokinetic comparability of Prolastin-C to Prolastin was assessed in subjects with AAT deficiency.
Methods
In total, 24 subjects were randomized to receive 60 mg/kg of functionally active Prolastin-C or Prolastin by weekly intravenous infusion for 8 weeks before crossover to the alternate treatment for another 8 weeks. Pharmacokinetic plasma samples were drawn over 7 days following last dose in the first treatment period and over 10 days following the last dose in the second period. The primary end point for pharmacokinetic comparability was area under the plasma concentration versus time curve over 7 days post dose (AUC0-7 days) of alpha1-PI determined by potency (functional activity) assay. The crossover phase was followed by an 8-week open-label treatment phase with Prolastin-C only.
Results
Mean AUC0-7 days was 155.9 versus 152.4 mg*h/mL for Prolastin-C and Prolastin, respectively. The geometric least squares mean ratio of AUC0-7 days for Prolastin-C versus Prolastin had a point estimate of 1.03 and a 90% confidence interval of 0.97-1.09, demonstrating pharmacokinetic equivalence between the 2 products. Adverse events were similar for both treatments and occurred at a rate of 0.117 and 0.078 per infusion for Prolastin-C (double-blind treatment phase only) and Prolastin, respectively (p = 0.744). There were no treatment-emergent viral infections in any subject for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B or C, or parvovirus B19 during the course of the study.
Conclusion
Prolastin-C demonstrated pharmacokinetic equivalence and a comparable safety profile to Prolastin.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00295061
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-10-13
PMCID: PMC2958874  PMID: 20920295
9.  Determinants of airflow obstruction in severe alpha‐1‐antitrypsin deficiency 
Thorax  2007;62(9):806-813.
Background
Severe α1‐antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is an autosomal recessive genetic condition associated with an increased but variable risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A study was undertaken to assess the impact of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and sex on the development of COPD in individuals with severe AAT deficiency.
Methods
The AAT Genetic Modifier Study is a multicentre family‐based cohort study designed to study the genetic and epidemiological determinants of COPD in AAT deficiency. 378 individuals (age range 33–80 years), confirmed to be homozygous for the SERPINA1 Z mutation, were included in the analyses. The primary outcomes of interest were a quantitative outcome, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) percentage predicted, and a qualitative outcome, severe airflow obstruction (FEV1 <50% predicted).
Results
In multivariate analysis of the overall cohort, cigarette smoking, sex, asthma, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia were risk factors for reduced FEV1 percentage predicted and severe airflow obstruction (p<0.01). Index cases had lower FEV1 values, higher smoking histories and more reports of adult asthma, pneumonia and asthma before age 16 than non‐index cases (p<0.01). Men had lower pre‐ and post‐bronchodilator FEV1 percentage predicted than women (p<0.0001); the lowest FEV1 values were observed in men reporting a history of childhood asthma (26.9%). This trend for more severe obstruction in men remained when index and non‐index groups were examined separately, with men representing the majority of non‐index individuals with airflow obstruction (71%). Chronic bronchitis (OR 3.8, CI 1.8 to 12.0) and a physician's report of asthma (OR 4.2, CI 1.4 to 13.1) were predictors of severe airflow obstruction in multivariate analysis of non‐index men but not women.
Conclusion
In individuals with severe AAT deficiency, sex, asthma, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia are risk factors for severe COPD, in addition to cigarette smoking. These results suggest that, in subjects severely deficient in AAT, men, individuals with symptoms of chronic bronchitis and/or a past diagnosis of asthma or pneumonia may benefit from closer monitoring and potentially earlier treatment.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.075846
PMCID: PMC2117297  PMID: 17389752
10.  Is PiSS Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Associated with Disease? 
Pulmonary Medicine  2010;2010:570679.
Background. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AAT) is an inherited condition that predisposes to lung and/or liver disease. Objective. The current study examined the clinical features of the PiSS genotype. Methods. Nineteen study participants (PiSS) and 29 matched control participants (PiMM) were telephone interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. Demographic features, cigarette smoking, vocation, medication history, and clinical diagnoses were compared. Statistical analysis was performed. Finally, a comprehensive literature review was performed by two investigators. Results. 12/19 (63.2%) study participants reported the presence of lung and/or liver disease compared to 12/29 (41.4%) control participants. There trended toward having a higher frequency of medication allergies in the study population (42.11% versus 20.69%). Conclusions. The PiSS genotype was associated with a similar incidence of obstructive lung disease to controls. Selective bias intrinsic in testing for AAT deficiency and the rarity of the PiSS genotype will make future study of this association dependent on population-based tests.
doi:10.1155/2010/570679
PMCID: PMC3099463  PMID: 21687342
11.  How should we treat vascular and fibrotic lung disease in scleroderma? 
Recent randomized trials suggest that evidence-based algorithms for systemic sclerosis can be developed to identify patients at risk for lung disease, follow lung disease progression, and modify disease with therapies of proven benefit. Recognition of disease subsets allows physicians to integrate physiology, overlapping disease manifestations, and predictable drug effects into a comprehensive disease management program.
doi:10.3410/M1-57
PMCID: PMC2948303  PMID: 20948723
12.  IL10 Polymorphisms Are Associated with Airflow Obstruction in Severe α1-Antitrypsin Deficiency 
Severe α1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially in individuals who smoke. There is marked variability in the development of lung disease in individuals homozygous (PI ZZ) for this autosomal recessive condition, suggesting that modifier genes could be important. We hypothesized that genetic determinants of obstructive lung disease may be modifiers of airflow obstruction in individuals with severe AAT deficiency. To identify modifier genes, we performed family-based association analyses for 10 genes previously associated with asthma and/or COPD, including IL10, TNF, GSTP1, NOS1, NOS3, SERPINA3, SERPINE2, SFTPB, TGFB1, and EPHX1. All analyses were performed in a cohort of 378 PI ZZ individuals from 167 families. Quantitative spirometric phenotypes included forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the ratio of FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC). A qualitative phenotype of moderate-to-severe COPD was defined for individuals with FEV1 ⩽ 50 percent predicted. Six of 11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL10 (P = 0.0005–0.05) and 3 of 5 SNPs in TNF (P = 0.01–0.05) were associated with FEV1 and/or FEV1/FVC. IL10 SNPs also demonstrated association with the qualitative COPD phenotype. When phenotypes of individuals with a physician's diagnosis of asthma were excluded, IL10 SNPs remained significantly associated, suggesting that the association with airflow obstruction was independent of an association with asthma. Haplotype analysis of IL10 SNPs suggested the strongest association with IL10 promoter SNPs. IL10 is likely an important modifier gene for the development of COPD in individuals with severe AAT deficiency.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2007-0107OC
PMCID: PMC2176135  PMID: 17690329
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic modifiers; interleukin 10; family-based association analysis
13.  Bronchoalveolar Lavage and Response to Cyclophosphamide in Scleroderma Interstitial Lung Disease 
Rationale: The presence of inflammatory cells on bronchoalveolar lavage is often used to predict disease activity and the need for therapy in systemic sclerosis–associated interstitial lung disease.
Objectives: To evaluate whether lavage cellularity identifies distinct subsets of disease and/or predicts cyclophosphamide responsiveness.
Methods: Patients underwent baseline lavage and/or high-resolution computed tomography as part of a randomized placebo-controlled trial of cyclophosphamide versus placebo (Scleroderma Lung Study) to determine the effect of therapy on forced vital capacity. Patients with 3% or greater polymorphonuclear and/or 2% or greater eosinophilic leukocytes on lavage and/or ground-glass opacification on computed tomography were eligible for enrollment.
Measurements and Main Results: Lavage was performed in 201 individuals, including 141 of the 158 randomized patients. Abnormal cellularity was present in 101 of these cases (71.6%) and defined a population with a higher percentage of men (P = 0.04), more severe lung function, including a worse forced vital capacity (P = 0.003), worse total lung capacity (P = 0.005) and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (P = 0.004), more extensive ground-glass opacity (P = 0.005), and more extensive fibrosis in the right middle lobe (P = 0.005). Despite these relationships, the presence or absence of an abnormal cell differential was not an independent predictor of disease progression or response to cyclophosphamide at 1 year (P = not significant).
Conclusions: The presence of an abnormal lavage in the Scleroderma Lung Study defined patients with more advanced interstitial lung disease but added no additional value to physiologic and computed tomography findings as a predictor of progression or treatment response.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 000004563).
doi:10.1164/rccm.200705-655OC
PMCID: PMC2176114  PMID: 17901414
systemic sclerosis; Scleroderma Lung Study
14.  Effects of 1-Year Treatment with Cyclophosphamide on Outcomes at 2 Years in Scleroderma Lung Disease 
Rationale: The Scleroderma Lung Study enrolled 158 patients with scleroderma-related interstitial lung disease in a placebo-controlled trial of oral cyclophosphamide (CYC). Although treatment-related benefits in pulmonary function, skin scores, and patient-centered outcomes were demonstrated after 1 year of therapy, the duration of benefit beyond 1 year was unclear.
Objectives: A second year of follow-up was performed to determine if these effects persisted after stopping treatment.
Methods: A detailed analysis of data obtained over the two years of the study was performed.
Measurements and Main Results: Using a longitudinal joint model, we analyzed FVC, total lung capacity, transitional dyspnea index, Rodnan skin scores, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire–Disability Index during the second year, after adjusting for baseline values, baseline fibrosis score, and nonignorable missing data. Evaluable subjects (72 CYC; 73 placebo) included 93 who completed all visits plus 52 who completed at least 6 months of therapy and returned at 24 month or had their 24-month data imputed. The beneficial effects of CYC on pulmonary function and health status continued to increase through 18 months, after which they dissipated, whereas skin improvements dissipated after 12 months. In contrast, the positive effect on dyspnea persisted through 24 months. Adverse events were uncommon.
Conclusions: One year of CYC improved lung function, skin scores, dyspnea, and health status/disability, effects which either persisted or increased further for several months after stopping therapy. However, except for a sustained impact on dyspnea, all of these effects waned and were no longer apparent at 24 months. Treatment strategies aimed at extending the positive therapeutic effects observed with CYC should be considered.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 000004563).
doi:10.1164/rccm.200702-326OC
PMCID: PMC2078679  PMID: 17717203
cyclophosphamide; interstitial lung disease; scleroderma; systemic sclerosis
15.  Design of the Endobronchial Valve for Emphysema Palliation Trial (VENT): a non-surgical method of lung volume reduction 
Background
Lung volume reduction surgery is effective at improving lung function, quality of life, and mortality in carefully selected individuals with advanced emphysema. Recently, less invasive bronchoscopic approaches have been designed to utilize these principles while avoiding the associated perioperative risks. The Endobronchial Valve for Emphysema PalliatioN Trial (VENT) posits that occlusion of a single pulmonary lobe through bronchoscopically placed Zephyr® endobronchial valves will effect significant improvements in lung function and exercise tolerance with an acceptable risk profile in advanced emphysema.
Methods
The trial design posted on Clinical trials.gov, on August 10, 2005 proposed an enrollment of 270 subjects. Inclusion criteria included: diagnosis of emphysema with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) < 45% of predicted, hyperinflation (total lung capacity measured by body plethysmography > 100%; residual volume > 150% predicted), and heterogeneous emphysema defined using a quantitative chest computed tomography algorithm. Following standardized pulmonary rehabilitation, patients were randomized 2:1 to receive unilateral lobar placement of endobronchial valves plus optimal medical management or optimal medical management alone. The co-primary endpoint was the mean percent change in FEV1 and six minute walk distance at 180 days. Secondary end-points included mean percent change in St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire score and the mean absolute changes in the maximal work load measured by cycle ergometry, dyspnea (mMRC) score, and total oxygen use per day. Per patient response rates in clinically significant improvement/maintenance of FEV1 and six minute walk distance and technical success rates of valve placement were recorded. Apriori response predictors based on quantitative CT and lung physiology were defined.
Conclusion
If endobronchial valves improve FEV1 and health status with an acceptable safety profile in advanced emphysema, they would offer a novel intervention for this progressive and debilitating disease.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00129584
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-7-10
PMCID: PMC1949836  PMID: 17711594

Results 1-15 (15)