Pruning of the Pulmonary Vasculature in Asthma: The SARP Cohort


Ash SY, Rahaghi FN, Come CE, Ross JC, Colon AG, Cardet-Guisasola JC, Dunican EM, Bleecker ER, Castro M, Fahy JV, et al. Pruning of the Pulmonary Vasculature in Asthma: The SARP Cohort. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018;198 (1) :39-50.

Date Published:

2018 Apr 19


RATIONALE: Loss of the peripheral pulmonary vasculature, termed vascular pruning, is associated with disease severity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. OBJECTIVES: To determine if pulmonary vascular pruning is associated with asthma severity and exacerbations. METHODS: We measured the total pulmonary blood vessel volume (TBV) and the blood vessel volume of vessels less than 5mm2 in cross sectional area (BV5) and of vessels less than 10mm2 (BV10) in cross sectional area on non-contrast computed tomographic scans of participants from the Severe Asthma Research Program. Lower values of the BV5 to TBV ratio (BV5/TBV) and the BV10 to TBV ratio (BV10/TBV) represented vascular pruning (loss of the peripheral pulmonary vasculature). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Compared to healthy controls, severe asthmatics had more pulmonary vascular pruning. Among asthmatics, those with poor asthma control had more pruning than those well-controlled disease. Pruning of the pulmonary vasculature was also associated with lower percent predicted forced expiratory volume in one second and forced vital capacity, greater peripheral and sputum eosinophilia and higher bronchoalveolar lavage SAA/LXA4, but not with low attenuation area or with sputum neutrophilia. Compared with individuals with less pruning, individuals with the most vascular pruning had a 150% greater odds of reporting an asthma exacerbation (OR 2.50; CI: 1.05, 5.98; p=0.039 for BV10/TBV), and reported 45% more asthma exacerbations during follow-up (IRR 1.45; CI: 1.02, 2.06; p=0.036 for BV10/TBV). CONCLUSIONS: Pruning of the peripheral pulmonary vasculature is associated with asthma severity, control and exacerbations, as well as with lung function and eosinophilia.

Last updated on 05/13/2019