Gaining the Upper Hand on Pulmonary Drug Delivery

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:52


Journal of Pharmacovigilance

Open Access
ISSN: 2329-6887

J Pharmacovigil. 2014 Mar 1;2(1):118.

Tyrrell J, Tarran R.

Operational definitions of asthma in recent epidemiological studies are inconsistent

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Saturday, 09 August 2014 18:37
Open Access

Ana Sá-SousaTiago JacintoLuís Filipe AzevedoMário Morais-AlmeidaCarlos Robalo-CordeiroAntónio Bugalho-AlmeidaJean Bousquet and João Almeida Fonseca

Asthma and respiratory physiology: Putting lung function into perspective

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:42


Giuseppe Francesco Sferrazza Papa,Giulia Michela Pellegrino and Riccardo Pellegrino. Article first published online: 24 JUL 2014 DOI: 10.1111/resp.12355 © 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation and remodelling. The hypothesis that the illness is inflammatory in nature has recently been challenged by studies showing that airway smooth muscle (ASM) plays a more important role than previously thought. For example, it is now known that in asthma patients, ASM proliferates more and faster than in healthy subjects, carries intrinsic defects and exhibits impaired relaxation, increased velocity of shortening, plastic adaptation to short length and perturbed equilibrium of actin-to-myosin during cycling. Similar conclusions can be drawn from studies on airway mechanics. For instance, in asthma, abnormal ASM contributes to limiting the response to deep lung stretching and accelerates the return of bronchial tone to baseline conditions, and contributes to increased airway stiffness. Upon stimulation, ASM causes airway narrowing that is heterogeneous across the lung and variable over time. This heterogeneity leads to patchy ventilation. Experimental studies have shown that patchy ventilation may precipitate an asthma attack, and inability to maintain bronchial tone control over time can predict the occurrence of bronchospastic attacks over a matter of a few days. To improve our knowledge on the pathogenesis of asthma, we believe that it is necessary to explore the disease within the framework of the topographical, volume and time domains of the lung that play an important role in setting the severity and progression of the disease. Application of the forced oscillation technique and multiple breath nitrogen washout may, alone or in combination, help address questions unsolvable until now.

View Full Article (HTML) Enhanced Article (HTML) Get PDF (385K)



InSpire to Promote Lung Assessment in Youth: Evolving the Self-Management Paradigms of Young People With Asthma

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Wednesday, 06 August 2014 16:10

Original Paper

Pierre Elias1; Nithin O Rajan2, MBA; Kara McArthur3; Clifford C Dacso3,4, MBA, MPH, MD

1Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, United States
2BSX Athletics, Houston, TX, United States
3The Abramson Center for the Future of Health, Houston, TX, United States
4Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States

Corresponding Author:

Kara McArthur

The Abramson Center for the Future of Health
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
6565 Fannin, MGJ 3012
Houston, TX, 77030
United States
Phone: 1 713 202 2462
Fax: 1 1 713 441 3554
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Background: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, disproportionately affecting urban, minority, and disadvantaged children. Individualized care plans supported by daily lung-function monitoring can reduce morbidity and mortality. However, despite 20 years of interventions to increase adherence, only 50% of US youth accurately follow their care plans, which leads to millions of preventable hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and sick days every year. We present a feasibility study of a novel, user-centered approach to increasing young people’s lung-function monitoring and asthma self-care. Promoting Lung Assessment in Youth (PLAY) helps young people become active managers of their asthma through the Web 2.0 principles of participation, cocreation, and information sharing. Specifically, PLAY combines an inexpensive, portable spirometer with the motivational power and convenience of mobile phones and virtual-community gaming.
Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and pilot test InSpire, a fully functional interface between a handheld spirometer and an interactive game and individualized asthma-care instant-messaging system housed on a mobile phone.
Methods: InSpire is an application for mobile smartphones that creates a compelling world in which youth collaborate with their physicians on managing their asthma. Drawing from design-theory on global timer mechanics and role playing, we incentivized completing spirometry maneuvers by making them an engaging part of a game young people would want to play. The data can be sent wirelessly to health specialists and return care recommendations to patients in real-time. By making it portable and similar to applications normally desired by the target demographic, InSpire is able to seamlessly incorporate asthma management into their lifestyle.
Results: We describe the development process of building and testing the InSpire prototype. To our knowledge, the prototype is a first-of-its kind mobile one-stop shop for asthma management. Feasibility testing in children aged 7 to 14 with asthma assessed likability of the graphical user interface as well as young people’s interest in our incentivizing system. Nearly 100% of children surveyed said they would play games like those in PLAY if they involved breathing into a spirometer. Two-thirds said they would prefer PLAY over the spirometer alone, whereas 1/3 would prefer having both. No children said they would prefer the spirometer over PLAY.
Conclusions: Previous efforts at home-monitoring of asthma in children have experienced rapid decline in adherence. An inexpensive monitoring technology combined with the computation, interactive communication, and display ability of a mobile phone is a promising approach to sustainable adherence to lung-function monitoring and care plans. An exciting game that redefines the way youth conduct health management by inviting them to collaborate in their health better can be an incentive and a catalyst for more far-reaching goals.

(Med 2.0 2013;2(1):e1)


pediatric asthma; chronic disease management; mobile phones; spirometry; gamification

Download PDF

Long-acting beta-agonists plus inhaled corticosteroids safety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of non-randomized studies

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:28
Open Access

Gimena HernándezMónica AvilaÀngels PontOlatz GarinJordi AlonsoLaurent Laforest,Christopher J Cates and Montserrat Ferrer

Respiratory Research 2014, 15:83  doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-83

Published: 19 July 2014

Abstract (provisional)


Although several systematic reviews investigated the safety of long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) in asthma, they mainly addressed randomized clinical trials while evidence from non-randomized studies has been mostly neglected. We aim to assess the risk of serious adverse events in adults and children with asthma treated with LABAs and Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICs), compared to patients treated only with ICs, from published non-randomized studies.


The protocol registration number was CRD42012003387 ( Literature search for articles published since 1990 was performed in MEDLINE and EMBASE. Two authors selected studies independently for inclusion and extracted the data. A third reviewer resolved discrepancies. To assess the risk of serious adverse events, meta-analyses were performed calculating odds ratio summary estimators using random effect models when heterogeneity was found, and fixed effect models otherwise.


Of 4,415 candidate articles, 1,759 abstracts were reviewed and 220 articles were fully read. Finally, 19 studies met the inclusion criteria. Most of them were retrospective observational cohorts. Sample sizes varied from 50 to 514,216. The meta-analyses performed (69,939-624,303 participants according to the outcome considered) showed that odds ratio of the LABAs and ICs combined treatment when compared with ICs alone was: 0.88 (95%CI 0.69-1.12) for asthma-related hospitalization; 0.75 (95%CI 0.66-0.84) for asthma-related emergency visits; 1.02 (95%CI 0.94-1.10) for systemic corticosteroids; and 0.95 (95%CI 0.9-1.0) for the combined outcome.


Evidence from observational studies shows that the combined treatment of LABAs and ICs is not associated with a higher risk of serious adverse events, compared to ICs alone. Major gaps identified were prospective design, paediatric population and inclusion of mortality as a primary outcome.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.


Interasma on Twitter

Interasma RT @worldallergy: WAO TV: Newer technologies to treat allergies and asthma - January 2019. Pinkus Goldberg, MD, Allergy Partners & Indiana…
Interasma RT @Aller_MD: Enterovirus as trigger of coeliac disease: Enterovirus in early childhood could be a trigger for later coeliac disease in chi…
Interasma RT @Aller_MD: Top story: Anaphylaxis Treatment: How to Avert This Severe Allergic Reaction | Everyday Health, see m…
Interasma RT @Aller_MD: “IMAGES IN CLINICAL MEDICINE: Sporotrichosis”
Interasma Interasma - Association of plasma soluble CD14 level with #asthma severity in adults: a case control study in China

Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

Copyright © Interasma 2003-2017  •  Terms of Use  •  Privacy Policy  •  Contact Us  •  Sitemap

Powered by FREI SA