Severe asthma research program - Phenotyping and quantification of severe asthma

S. B. Fain, E. T. Peterson, R. L. Sorkness, S. Wenzel, M. Castro, W. W. Busse

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A unique multi-center consortium of research centers, the severe asthma research program (SARP), is working to define asthma phenotypes, with a particular focus on severe asthma due to the higher prevalence of exacerbations and hospital visits in these patients. The consortium includes comprehensive studies of physiology, genotype, and inflammatory biomakers in addition to a lung imaging substudy in nearly 400 subjects. The imaging substudy is comparing quantitative computed tomography (CT) measures of airway morphology and parenchymal density to asthma severity and other makers of asthma. Results show increased wall thickness and increased regional air trapping in severe versus non-severe asthma. Image-guided bronchoscopic assessment using either CT or hyperpolarized gas magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows that highly diseased airways have increased wall thickness on histology and greater inflammatory cell numbers. Large scale imaging studies such as SARP may provide a means to better understand and guide effective treatment of severe asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalImaging Decisions MRI
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Airway obstruction
  • Asthma
  • Fast MRI
  • Hyperpolarized gas
  • Quantitative CT
  • Severe asthma
  • Ventilation


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