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1.  Sandstorm Appearance of Pulmonary Alveolar Microlithiasis Incidentally Detected in a Young, Asymptomatic Male 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2013;14(5):859-862.
Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (PAM) is a rare chronic disease with paucity of symptoms in contrast to the imaging findings. We present a case of a 24-year-old Malay man having an incidental abnormal pre-employment chest radiograph of dense micronodular opacities giving the classical "sandstorm" appearance. High-resolution computed tomography of the lungs showed microcalcifications with subpleural cystic changes. Open lung biopsy showed calcospherites within the alveolar spaces. The radiological and histopathological findings were characteristic of PAM.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2013.14.5.859
PMCID: PMC3772273  PMID: 24043987
Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis; High resolution computed tomography; Calcospherites
2.  Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in the Promoter of the Human Interleukin-13 Gene Is Associated with Asthma in Malaysian Adults 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:981012.
Asthma susceptibility genes are mapped to a region on human chromosome 5q31-q33, which contains a cluster of proinflammatory cytokine genes such as interleukin-13 (IL-13), which is associated with asthma. This study investigated the allele frequencies of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (−1111C>T and 4257C>A) in the IL-13 gene between asthmatics and healthy volunteers as well as the relationship between these SNPs and IL-13 production. DNA extracted from buffy coat of asthmatic and control subjects was genotyped using the PCR-RFLP method. Amount of IL-13 produced by mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood leucocytes PBLs (PBLs) was determined by ELISA. The frequencies of the −1111C and 4257G wild-type alleles were 0.52 and 0.55 in asthmatics and were 0.67 and 0.56 in controls. A significant (P < 0.05) association was found between genotype and allele frequencies of SNP at position −1111C>T between asthmatic and control groups (OR, 1.810; 95% CI = 1.184 to 2.767; P < 0.05). The mitogen-stimulated PBLs from asthmatics produced higher amounts of IL-13 production (P < 0.001). The 4257GA heterozygous and 4257AA homozygous mutant alleles were associated with higher IL-13 production in asthmatics (P < 0.05). Our results show that the −1111T mutant allele are associated with asthma and the 4257A mutant alleles are associated with elevated IL-13 production.
doi:10.1155/2013/981012
PMCID: PMC3707285  PMID: 23865080
3.  Bone mineral density in asthmatic patients on inhaled corticosteroids in a developing country 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2012;7(2):69-73.
INTRODUCTION:
Prolonged use of oral corticosteroids is a risk factor for osteoporosis. However, the effect of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) on bone mineral density (BMD) of asthmatic patients remains controversial.
OBJECTIVES:
We aimed to determine the prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis in our patients with asthma receiving ICSs for more than one year compared with patients who did not have asthma and to determine the risk factors for osteopenia and osteoporosis among the asthmatic patients.
METHODS:
This was a cross-sectional study conducted from August 2007 to July 2009. Asthmatic patients aged 18 years and older who had been on ICS for at least one year and a control group of subjects not on ICS were included. BMD was measured using DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. The WHO classification of T-scores for osteopenia and osteoporosis were used.
RESULTS:
A total of 143 subjects were recruited (69 asthmatics and 74 control subjects). T-scores of the spine, femur, and hip of the asthmatics vs the control subjects were mean, −0.72 vs −0.57 (P=0.98); median, −0.60 vs −0.80 (P=0.474); and mean, 0.19 vs 0.06 (P=0.275); respectively. T-scores of the spine, femur, and hip showed significant negative correlation with age and significant positive correlation with body mass index (BMI).
CONCLUSION:
The risk factors for osteoporosis and osteopenia among asthmatic patients were older age and lower BMI, but not the cumulative dose of ICS. Asthmatic patients on ICS have no added risk of osteoporosis or osteopenia as compared with non-asthmatic subjects.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.94522
PMCID: PMC3339206  PMID: 22558010
Asthma; asthma; bone mineral density; inhaled corticosteroids

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