Redistribution of Pulmonary Perfusion During Bronchoconstriction in Asthma
Research in asthma has focused on the airways, however, little is known about how regional pulmonary perfusion changes during an asthma attack. Recent studies from our lab using positron emission tomography (PET) functional imaging have shown for the first time that dramatic perfusion redistribution, away from patchy areas of low ventilation, take place in spontaneously breathing human subjects with asthma during methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction.
The long-term objective of this research is to understand the mechanisms of, and factors that modify, the regional perfusion redistribution during bronchoconstriction in asthma. The main hypotheses to be tested in this project are:
These hypotheses will be tested using state-of-the-art PET-CT functional imaging of regional perfusion and ventilation with the following specific aims:
This research is designed to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that match blood flow and airflow in the lungs during an asthma attack and how these change during recovery from an asthma attack. Knowledge of this important lung function may lead to improved asthma therapy and possibly reduce asthma-related deaths.
R. Scott Harris, M.D., Principal Investigator