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American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for May (second issue)

HIGHER LEVELS OF KERATINOCYTE GROWTH FACTOR PREVENT A PREMATURE AIRWAY CONDITION

French researchers found that, among 91 premature infants born at 30 weeks who had hyaline membrane disease, those with higher keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) concentrations were protected against bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a serious neonatal condition. (BPD results from damage inflicted on the immature fetal lung by mechanical ventilation, oxygen therapy, and airway inflammatory responses during treatment for hyaline membrane disease. All infants in the study had both clinical and radiological evidence of hyaline membrane disease, which results from a deficiency of surfactant necessary for normal lung function.) KGF is a substance produced by the developing babys lung. It has been reported to regulate lung development, to prevent injury, and to assist and improve ventilator and oxygen-induced lung repair. The investigators suctioned secretions from the trachea of the 91 neonates within three hours of birth. Among the 36 neonates who had higher KGF concentrations during the first five days after birth, only two developed BPD. Fourteen infants had the disease, which was defined as a need for oxygen supplementation at 36 weeks postconceptual age. The research appears in the second issue for May of the American Thoracic Societys peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

pH OFFERS SIMPLE TEST FOR AIRWAY INFLAMMATION

The pH of expired breath condensate offers a simple, noninvasive, inexpensive, and easily repeatable procedure to evaluate the inflammatory process in airway diseases. (A pH test is a measure of the acidity of a solution, with a pH of 7 being neutral.) Greek researchers studied 40 patients with bronchial asthma (20 with mild persistent asthma and 20 with moderate disease), 20 patients with bronchiectases (persistent abnormal widening of the bronchi); 20 patients with
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Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
ccarlomagno@thoraic.org
212-315-6442
American Thoracic Society
16-May-2002


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