Severe Asthma Research Program

Hyperpolarized 3He MRI scans in five children with asthma.  The arrows identify lung regions that do not fill with the inhaled 3He termed ventilation defects. Ventilation defects are more common in children with severe versus non-severe asthma and correlate with a number of clinical features of asthma.

Hyperpolarized 3He MRI scans in five children with asthma. The arrows identify lung regions that do not fill with the inhaled 3He termed ventilation defects. Ventilation defects are more common in children with severe versus non-severe asthma and correlate with a number of clinical features of asthma.

Severe asthma is a major public health problem which accounts for a disproportionate burden of U.S. health costs for asthma and many lost days from work and school among its victims. Investigators in the CHRC lead by Dr. Teague are involved in an integrated effort funded by the NIH/NHLBI and the American Lung Association to understand mechanisms of severe asthma in children particularly in regards to inflammatory patterns and natural history.

Ongoing projects devoted to severe asthma in children include:

  • NIH/NHLBI Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP): SARP is a consortium of 11 sites conducting a three year longitudinal cohort study of over 700 patients ranging in age from 6 to 85 years with both severe (60%) and non-severe (40%) asthma. The goal of this study is discover mechanisms which differentiate severe from non-severe asthma and thereby target new therapies.
  • ABBA: This is a cross-sectional study led by Dr. Debbie-Ann Shirley to understand the relationship between the airway microbiome and asthma control in children. This study involves sharing specimens obtained from clinical bronchoscopies in children with asthma with the research laboratory. Samples also are shared with the laboratories of Drs. Larry Borish, John Steinke, and Judith Woodfolk in Allergy and Immunology to study airway immune responses and the status of the airway epithelial corticosteroid response.
  • VEGAS: This is a study done in collaboration with Pediatric Critical Care Medicine to compare a range of methods to evaluate peripheral lung function in children with asthma. These studies are conducted in the Battle Building CRU.
  • REACH: This is a chart review study supported by the American Lung Association to discover the features of children with resistant airflow limitation, an important complication of asthma and other childhood lung diseases.