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Surfactant Protein A in particles in exhaled air (PExA), bronchial lavage and bronchial wash - A methodological comparison

Journal article
Authors A. F. Behndig
Ekaterina Mirgorodskaya
A. Blomberg
Anna-Carin Olin
Published in Respiratory Research
Volume 20
Issue 1
ISSN 1465-9921
Publication year 2019
Published at Core Facilities, Proteomics
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Language en
Subject categories Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


Introduction: At present, there are few methods available for monitoring respiratory diseases affecting distal airways. Bronchoscopy is the golden standard for sampling the lower airways. The recently developed method for collecting non-volatile material from exhaled air - PExA (Particles in Exhaled air) is a promising new tool, but no direct comparison between the two methods has yet been performed. The aim of the present study was to compare sampling using PExA with bronchial wash (BW) representing the larger more proximal airways and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) representing the distal airways. Methods: 15 healthy non-smoking subjects (7 female/8 male), age 28 ± 4 years, with normal lung function were included in the study. PExA-sampling (2 × 250 ng particles) and bronchoscopy with BW (2 × 20 ml) and BAL (3 × 60 ml sterile saline) was performed. Albumin and Surfactant Protein A (SP-A) were analyzed with ELISA, and analyses of correlation were performed. Results: A significant association was found between BAL-fluid albumin and PExA-albumin (rs:0.65 p = 0.01). There was also an association between SP-A in PExA and BAL, when corrected for albumin concentration (rs:0.61, p = 0.015). When correlating concentrations of albumin and SP-A in bronchial wash and PExA respectively, no associations were found. Conclusions: This is the first direct comparison between the bronchoscopy-based BW/BAL-fluids and material collected using the PExA methodology. Both albumin and albumin-corrected SP-A concentrations were significantly associated between BAL and PExA, however, no such association was found in either marker between BW and PExA. These results indicate that the PExA method samples the distal airways. PExA is thus considered a new promising non-invasive assessment for monitoring of the distal airways. © 2019 The Author(s).

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