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Image-enhanced bronchoscopic evaluation of bronchial mucosal microvasculature in COPD

Authors Fathy E, Shafiek H, Morsi T, El Sabaa B, Elnekidy A, Elhoffy M, Atta MS

Received 3 April 2016

Accepted for publication 7 July 2016

Published 29 September 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 2447—2455

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S109788

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Eman Mahmoud Fathy,1 Hanaa Shafiek,1 Tamer S Morsi,1,† Bassma El Sabaa,2 Abdelaziz Elnekidy,3 Mohamed Elhoffy,1 Mohamed Samy Atta1

1Chest Diseases Department, 2Pathology Department, 3Radiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

†Doctor Tamer Morsi passed away on August 15, 2014

Background: Bronchial vascular remodeling is an underresearched component of airway remodeling in COPD. Image-enhanced bronchoscopy may offer a less invasive method for studying bronchial microvasculature in COPD.
Objectives: To evaluate endobronchial mucosal vasculature and changes in COPD by image-enhanced i-scan3 bronchoscopy and correlate them pathologically by analyzing bronchial mucosal biopsies.
Methods: This case–control study analyzed 29 COPD patients (41.4% Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease B [GOLD B] and 58.6% GOLD D) and ten healthy controls admitted at Alexandria Main University Hospital, Egypt. Combined high-definition white light bronchoscopy (HD WLB) with i-scan3 was used to evaluate endobronchial mucosal microvasculature. The vascularity was graded according to the level of mucosal red discoloration (ie, endobronchial erythema) from decreased discoloration to normal, mild, moderate, and severe increased red discoloration (G-1, G0, G+1, G+2, and G+3, respectively) and scored by three bronchoscopists independently. Bronchial mucosal biopsies were taken for microvascular density counting using anti-CD34 antibody as angiogenesis marker.
Results: Different grades of endobronchial erythema were observed across/within COPD patients using combined HD WLB + i-scan3, with significant agreement among scorers (P=0.031; median score of G+1 [G-1–G+2]) being higher in GOLD D (P=0.001). Endobronchial erythema significantly correlated with COPD duration, exacerbation frequency, and body mass index (P<0.05). Angiogenesis was significantly decreased among COPD patients versus controls (10.6 [8–13.3] vs 14 [11–17.1]; P=0.02). Mucosal surface changes (including edema, atrophy, and nodules) were better visualized by the combined HD WLB + i-scan3 rather than HD WLB alone.
Conclusion: Combined HD WLB + i-scan3 seems to be valuable in evaluating mucosal microvasculature and surface changes in COPD, which may represent vasodilatation rather than angiogenesis.

Keywords: COPD activity, endobronchial erythema, angiogenesis, vascular remodeling

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