An Indian-origin researcher is investigating the use of CT (Computed Tomography) scanning for patients suffering from severe asthma.
Dr Sumit Gupta, a postgraduate student at the University of Leicester, along with his colleagues at the Institute for Lung Health and Radiology Department at Glenfield Hospital, suggests that CT scans may be the way forward for monitoring progression of severe asthma as well as checking how it is responding to treatment.
Their findings indicate that CT derived measures of structural changes in lungs and airways of patients with severe asthma may potentially be used as a non-invasive 'marker' in asthma to monitor disease progression and response to current and novel treatment.
"Asthma is a major health problem affecting 300 million people worldwide. Approximately half a million people in UK suffer from severe asthma and are, as a consequence, at increased risk of asthma attacks, hospitalization and death and often have severely impaired quality of life. Structural changes that occur in airways of asthmatic individuals remain difficult to quantify and monitor. Computed tomography (CT) scans have now emerged as a non-invasive research tool to assess these airway structural changes," Gupta said.
The team observed a reduction in the airway wall thickness along with reduction in asthma attacks amongst severe asthma patients, whose airway inflammation was suppressed by novel therapy, targeting specific type of inflammation. This research work therefore highlights the importance of CT scanning in severe asthma patients and its potential use as a non-invasive 'marker' for monitoring of the disease.
Preliminary results from the study will be showcased at the University of Leicester's Festival of Postgraduate Research on 24 June.