The course of asthma during pregnancy in a recent, multicase–control study on respiratory health

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 20 April 2018 14:30
A. Grosso, F. LocatelliE. GiniF. AlbiciniC. TirelliI. Cerveri and A. G. Corsico

Abstract

Background

Over the years it has been widely stated that approximately one-third of asthmatic women experience worsening of the disease during pregnancy. However, the literature has not been reviewed systematically and the meta-analytic reviews include old studies. This study aimed to examine whether the prevalence of worsening asthma during pregnancy is still consistent with prior estimate or it has been reduced.

Methods

A detailed Clinical Questionnaire on respiratory symptoms, medical history, medication, use of services, occupation, social status, home environment and lifestyle was administered to random samples of the Italian population in the frame of the Gene Environment Interactions in Respiratory Diseases (GEIRD) study. Only clinical data belong to 2.606 subjects that completed the clinical stage of the GEIRD study, were used for the present study.

Results

Out of 1.351 women, 284 self-reported asthma and 92 of them had at least one pregnancy. When we considered the asthma course during pregnancy, we found that 16 women worsened, 31 remained unchanged, 25 improved. Seven women had not the same course in the different pregnancies and 13 did not know. The starting age of ICS use almost overlaps with that of asthma onset in women with worsening asthma during pregnancy (19 years ± 1.4), unlike the other women who started to use ICS much later (30.3 years ± 12). In addition, the worsening of asthma was more frequent in women with an older age of onset of asthma (18 years ± 9 vs 13 years ± 10). Among women who completed the ACT during the clinical interview, the 50% of women who experienced worsening asthma during pregnancy (6/12) had an ACT score below 20.

Conclusion

Asthma was observed to worsen during pregnancy in a percentage much lower to that generally reported in all the previous studies. There is still room in clinical practice to further reduce worsening of asthma during pregnancy by improving asthma control, with a more structured approach to asthma education and management prepregnancy.

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Nerve ablation after bronchial thermoplasty and sustained improvement in severe asthma

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Wednesday, 18 April 2018 11:36
BMC Pulmonary Medicine
BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 2018 18:29
 
N. Facciolongo, A. DiStefanoV. PietriniC. GaleoneF. BellanovaF. MenzellaN. ScichiloneR. PiroG. L. BajocchiB. BalbiL. AgostiniP. P. SalsiD. Formisano and M. Lusuardi

Abstract

Background

Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a non-pharmacological intervention for severe asthma whose mechanism of action is not completely explained by a reduction of airway smooth muscle (ASM). In this study we analyzed the effect of BT on nerve fibers and inflammatory components in the bronchial mucosa at 1 year.

Methods

Endobronchial biopsies were obtained from 12 subjects (mean age 47 ± 11.3 years, 50% male) with severe asthma. Biopsies were performed at baseline (T0) and after 1 (T1), 2 (T2) and 12 (T12) months post-BT, and studied with immunocytochemistry and microscopy methods. Clinical data including Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) and Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) scores, exacerbations, hospitalizations, oral corticosteroids use were also collected at the same time points.

Results

A statistically significant reduction at T1, T2 and T12 of nerve fibers was observed in the submucosa and in ASM compared to T0. Among inflammatory cells, only CD68 showed significant changes at all time points. Improvement of all clinical outcomes was documented and persisted at the end of follow up.

Conclusions

A reduction of nerve fibers in epithelium and in ASM occurs earlier and persists at one year after BT. We propose that nerve ablation may contribute to mediate the beneficial effects of BT in severe asthma.

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A case of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis successfully treated with mepolizumab

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Monday, 09 April 2018 11:31

BMC Pulmonary Medicine

BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 2018 18:53

Takeshi Terashima,T aro Shinozaki, Eri Iwami,Takahiro Nakajima and Tatsu Matsuzaki

Abstract

Background

Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is an allergic pulmonary disease comprising a complex hypersensitivity reaction to Aspergillus fumigatus. Clinical features of ABPA are wheezing, mucoid impaction, and pulmonary infiltrates. Oral corticosteroids and anti-fungal agents are standard therapy for ABPA, but long-term use of systemic corticosteroids often causes serious side effects.

Case presentation

A 64-year-old woman was diagnosed with ABPA based on a history of bronchial asthma (from 40 years of age), elevated total IgE, the presence of serum precipitating antibodies and elevated specific IgE antibody to A. fumigatus, and pulmonary infiltration. Bronchoscopy showed eosinophilic mucoid impaction. Systemic corticosteroid therapy was initiated, and her symptoms disappeared. Peripheral eosinophilia and pulmonary infiltration recurred five months after cessation of corticosteroid treatment. Systemic corticosteroids were re-initiated and itraconazole was added as an anti-fungal agent. The patient was free of corticosteroids, aside from treatment with a short course of systemic corticosteroids for asthma exacerbation, and clinically stable with itraconazole and asthma treatments for 3 years. In 2017, she experienced significant deterioration. Laboratory examination revealed marked eosinophilia (3017/μL) and a chest computed tomography (CT) scan demonstrated pulmonary infiltration in the left upper lobe and mucoid impaction in both lower lobes. The patient was treated with high-dose inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta-agonist, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, and theophylline; spirometry revealed a forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) of 1.01 L. An uncontrolled asthma state was indicated by an Asthma Control Test (ACT) score of 18. Mepolizumab, 100 mg every 4 weeks, was initiated for the treatment of severe bronchial asthma with ABPA exacerbation. Bronchial asthma symptoms dramatically improved, and ACT score increased to 24, by 4 weeks after mepolizumab treatment. Peripheral eosinophil count decreased to 174/μL. Spirometry revealed improvement of lung function (FEV1: 1.28 L). A chest CT scan demonstrated the disappearance of pulmonary infiltration and mucoid impaction.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this is the first case of ABPA to be treated with mepolizumab. Dramatic improvements were observed in symptoms, lung function, peripheral eosinophil counts, and chest images. Mepolizumab could serve as an alternative treatment with the potential to provide a systemic corticosteroid-sparing effect.

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Effects of endogenous sex hormones on lung function and symptom control in adolescents with asthma

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Wednesday, 11 April 2018 13:31

BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Mark D. DeBoer, Brenda R. Phillips, David T. Mauger, Joe Zein, Serpil C. Erzurum, Anne M. Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M. Gaston, Ross Myers, Kristie R. Ross, James Chmiel, Min Jie Lee, John V. Fahy, Michael Peters, Ngoc P. Ly, Sally E. Wenzel, Merritt L. Fajt, Fernando Holguin, Wendy C. Moore, Stephen P. Peters, Deborah Meyers, Eugene R. Bleecker, Mario Castro, Andrea M. Coverstone, Leonard B. Bacharier, Nizar N. Jarjour, Ronald L. Sorkness, Sima Ramratnam, Anne-Marie Irani, Elliot Israel, Bruce Levy, Wanda Phipatanakul, Jonathan M. Gaffin and W. Gerald Teague Email author

Abstract

Background

Although pre-puberty asthma is more prevalent in males, after puberty through middle-age, asthma is more prevalent in females. The surge of sex hormones with puberty might explain this gender switch.

Methods

To examine the effects of sex hormones on lung function and symptoms with puberty, Tanner stage was assessed in 187 children 6–18 years of age (59% severe) enrolled in the NIH/NHLBI Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP). The effects of circulating sex hormones (n = 68; testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), estrogen, and progesterone) on lung function and 4 week symptom control (ACQ6) in cross-section were tested by linear regression.

Results

From pre−/early to late puberty, lung function did not change significantly but ACQ6 scores improved in males with severe asthma. By contrast females had lower post-BD FEV1% and FVC% and worse ACQ6 scores with late puberty assessed by breast development. In males log DHEA-S levels, which increased by Tanner stage, associated positively with pre- and post-BD FEV1%, pre-BD FVC %, and negatively (improved) with ACQ6. Patients treated with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids had similar levels of circulating DHEA-S. In females, estradiol levels increased by Tanner stage, and associated negatively with pre-BD FEV1% and FVC %.

Conclusions

These results support beneficial effects of androgens on lung function and symptom control and weak deleterious effects of estradiol on lung function in children with asthma. Longitudinal data are necessary to confirm these cross-sectional findings and to further elucidate hormonal mechanisms informing sex differences in asthma features with puberty.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT01748175.

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Pulmonary interstitial emphysema in fatal asthma: case report and histopathological review

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Sunday, 25 March 2018 18:00
Thais MauadFelipe B. P. do NascimentoMarisa DolhnikoffMilena C. M. PickaPaulo H. N. Saldiva and on behalf of BIAS

Abstract

Background

Mortality related to asthma has decreased worldwide since the introduction of inhaled corticosteroid therapy in the past decades. However, there are still some asthma fatalities identified mainly in populations with less access to regular treatment. Pulmonary interstitial emphysema due to alveolar rupture has been rarely described as a complication of an acute severe asthma attack, and its identification in pathological analysis can be difficult. Previous studies reported the association of pulmonary interstitial emphysema and bronchial ductal gland ectasia in asthma.

Case presentation

We present the case of a 42-year- old man that died due to a fatal asthma attack. Postmortem computed tomography revealed the unusual finding of acute Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema, confirmed by pathological analysis. We reviewed 28 cases of fatal asthma tissue and identified the presence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema in 10% of the cases.

Conclusions

Postmortem computed tomography is a useful complimentary diagnostic tool for autopsies. Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema in acute exacerbations of asthma seems to be more frequent than reported. Alveolar hyperdistension and bronchial duct gland ectasia causing tissue rupture are possible mechanisms involved in the formation of Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema. The clinical impact of Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema in asthma is unknown.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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