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Rating sputum cell quality in clinical trials for asthma and COPD treatment

Authors Pedersen F, Zissler UM, Watz H, Rabe KF, Hohlfeld JM, Holz O

Received 19 September 2018

Accepted for publication 16 December 2018

Published 8 January 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 195—198

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S188033

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Frauke Pedersen,1,2 Ulrich M Zissler,3 Henrik Watz,2 Klaus F Rabe,1 Jens M Hohlfeld,4,5 Olaf Holz4

1LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Grosshansdorf, Germany; 2Pulmonary Research Institute at LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Grosshansdorf, Germany; 3Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Germany, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Munich, Germany; 4Fraunhofer ITEM, Clinical Airway Research – Biomedical Research in End-stage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Hannover, Germany; 5Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Biomedical Research in End-stage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH), Hannover, Germany

Background
Induced sputum is a method to assess airway inflammation in clinical trials for asthma and COPD.1–3 Sputum is a heterogeneous, viscous material containing inflammatory cell plugs, cellular debris, mucus, and saliva with squamous cells.

The quality of sputum cell preparations for differential cell count analysis depends on multiple factors and can be highly variable.4,5 Percentage of squamous cell contamination (SQ%) is often used to assess the quality of sputum cell preparations.6
Here, we evaluated a comprehensive quality score,7 which also includes an assessment of the inflammatory cell morphology and amount of cellular debris.
 

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