Imperial College London

DrLukeHoward

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Professor of Practice (Cardiopulmonary Medicine)
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 3171l.howard Website

 
 
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Location

 

B3113Hammersmith HospitalHammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

283 results found

Harbaum L, Rhodes CJ, Wharton J, Lawrie A, Karnes JH, Desai AA, Nichols WC, Humbert M, Montani D, Girerd B, Sitbon O, Boehm M, Novoyatleva T, Schermuly RT, Ghofrani HA, Toshner M, Kiely DG, Howard LS, Swietlik EM, Gräf S, Pietzner M, Morrell NW, Wilkins MRet al., 2022, Mining the plasma proteome for insights into the molecular pathology of pulmonary arterial hypertension., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, ISSN: 1073-449X

RATIONALE: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by structural remodelling of pulmonary arteries and arterioles. Underlying biological processes are likely reflected in a perturbation of circulating proteins. OBJECTIVES: To quantify and analyse the plasma proteome of PAH patients using inherited genetic variation to inform on underlying molecular drivers. METHODS: An aptamer-based assay was used to measure plasma proteins in 357 patients with idiopathic or heritable PAH, 103 healthy volunteers and 23 relatives of PAH patients. In discovery and replication subgroups, the plasma proteomes of PAH and healthy individuals were compared and the relationship to transplantation-free survival in PAH determined. To examine causal relationships to PAH, protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) that influenced protein levels in the patient population were used as instruments for Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: From 4,152 annotated plasma proteins, levels of 208 differed between PAH patients and healthy subjects and 49 predicted long-term survival. MR based on cis-pQTL located in proximity to the encoding gene for proteins that were prognostic and distinguished PAH from health estimated an adverse effect for higher levels of netrin-4 (odds ratio [OR] 1.55, 95%-confidence interval [CI] 1.16-2.08) and a protective effect for higher levels of thrombospondin-2 (OR 0.83, 95%-CI 0.74-0.94) on PAH. Both proteins tracked the development of PAH in previously healthy relatives and changes in thrombospondin-2 associated with pulmonary arterial pressure at disease onset. CONCLUSIONS: Integrated analysis of the plasma proteome and genome implicates two secreted matrix-binding proteins, netrin-4 and thrombospondin-2, in the pathobiology of PAH.

Journal article

Hull JH, Burns P, Carre J, Haines J, Hepworth C, Holmes S, Jones N, MacKenzie A, Paton JY, Ricketts WM, Howard LSet al., 2022, BTS clinical statement for the assessment and management of respiratory problems in athletic individuals, THORAX, ISSN: 0040-6376

Journal article

Howard LSGE, He J, Watson GMJ, Huang L, Wharton J, Luo Q, Kiely DG, Condliffe R, Pepke-Zaba J, Morrell NW, Sheares KK, Ulrich A, Quan R, Zhao Z, Jing X, An C, Liu Z, Xiong C, Robbins PA, Dawes T, de MA, Rhodes CJ, Richter MJ, Gall H, Ghofrani HA, Zhao L, Huson L, Wilkins MRet al., 2022, Supplementation with Iron in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Two Randomized Crossover Trials (vol 18, pg 981, 2021), ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN THORACIC SOCIETY, Vol: 19, Pages: 703-703, ISSN: 1546-3222

Journal article

Jones RJ, De Bie EMDD, Groves E, Zalewska KI, Swietlik EM, Treacy CM, Martin JM, Polwarth G, Li W, Guo J, Baxendale HE, Coleman S, Savinykh N, Coghlan JG, Corris PA, Howard LS, Johnson MK, Church C, Kiely DG, Lawrie A, Lordan JL, Mackenzie Ross RV, Pepke Zaba J, Wilkins MR, Wort SJ, Fiorillo E, Orrù V, Cucca F, Rhodes CJ, Gräf S, Morrell NW, McKinney EF, Wallace C, Toshner M, UK National PAH Cohort Study Consortiumet al., 2022, Autoimmunity is a significant feature of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, ISSN: 1073-449X

RATIONALE: Autoimmunity is thought to play a role in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). It is not clear if this is causative or a bystander of disease and if it carries any prognostic or treatment significance. OBJECTIVE: To study autoimmunity in IPAH using a large cross-sectional cohort. METHODS: Assessment of the circulating immune cell phenotype was undertaken using flow cytometry and the profile of serum immunoglobulins was generated using a standardised multiplex array of 19 clinically validated autoantibodies in 473 cases and 946 controls. Additional GST-fusion array and ELISA data were used to identify a serum autoantibody to BMPR2. Clustering analyses and clinical correlations were employed to determine associations between immunogenicity and clinical outcomes. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Flow cytometric immune profiling demonstrates IPAH is associated with an altered humoral immune response in addition to raised IgG3. Multiplexed autoantibodies were significantly raised in IPAH, and clustering demonstrated three distinct clusters: 'high autoantibody', 'low autoantibody', and a small 'intermediate' cluster exhibiting high levels of RNP-complex. The high autoantibody cluster had worse haemodynamics but improved survival. A small subset of patients demonstrated immunoglobulin reactivity to BMPR2. CONCLUSIONS: This study establishes aberrant immune regulation and presence of autoantibodies as a key feature in the profile of a significant proportion of IPAH patients and is associated with clinical outcomes. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Journal article

Leong K, Howard L, Lo Giudice F, Pavey H, Davies R, Haji G, Gibbs S, Gopalan Det al., 2022, MRI Feature Tracking Strain in Pulmonary Hypertension: Utility of Combined Left Atrial Volumetric and Deformation Assessment in Distinguishing Post- From Pre-capillary Physiology, FRONTIERS IN CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINE, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2297-055X

Journal article

Badagliacca R, Rischard F, Giudice FL, Howard L, Papa S, Valli G, Manzi G, Sciomer S, Palange P, Garcia JGN, Vanderpool R, Rinaldo R, Vigo B, Insel M, Fedele F, Vizza CDet al., 2022, Incremental value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in intermediate-risk pulmonary arterial hypertension., J Heart Lung Transplant

BACKGROUND: Risk assessment in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is essential for prognostication. However, the majority of patients end-up in an intermediate risk status, offering insufficient guidance in clinical practice. The added value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in this setting remains undefined. METHODS: Two independent cohorts with idiopathic PAH at intermediate risk were used to develop (n = 124) and externally validate (n = 143) the prognostic model. Cross-validation on the overall population was used to strengthen the results of the analysis. Risk assessment was based on the simplified version of the ESC/ERS guidelines score. Discrimination and calibration were assessed. RESULTS: A risk score was constructed based on the beta-coefficient of the cross-validated model, including the stroke volume index (SVI) and the peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak). Patients were grouped based on cutoff values of the risk score allowing the highest discrimination in the overall cohort. Group 1, score ≤2 (101 patients) with VO2 peak ≥14 ml/kg/min and SVI >30 ml/m2; Group 2, score between 2 and 5 (112 patients) with VO2 peak between 9 and 14 ml/kg/min, and SVI between 20 and 50 ml/m2; Group 3, score >5 (46 patients) with VO2 peak <10 ml/kg/min and SVI <30 ml/m2. The event-free survival rates at 1, 2 and 3 years, were 96%, 83% and 79% for Group 1, respectively; 82%, 67% and 52% for Group 2; 69%, 50% and 41% for Group 3. CONCLUSIONS: Combinations of VO2 peak and SVI may provide important information to further stratify intermediate-risk prevalent patients with idiopathic PAH.

Journal article

Rhodes C, Wharton J, Swietlik E, Harbaum L, Girerd B, Coghlan G, Lordan J, Church C, Pepke-Zaba J, Toshner M, Wort SJ, Kiely D, Condliffe R, Lawrie A, Graf S, Montani D, Boucly A, Sitbon O, Humbert M, Howard LS, Morrell NW, Wilkins MRet al., 2021, Using the plasma proteome for risk stratifying patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol: 205, ISSN: 1073-449X

Rationale: N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a biomarker of cardiac origin, is used to risk stratify patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Its limitations include poor sensitivity to early vascular pathology. Other biomarkers of vascular or systemic origin may also be useful in the management of PAH.Objectives: Identify prognostic proteins in PAH which complement NT-proBNP and clinical risk scores.Methods: An aptamer-based assay (SomaScan-V4) targeting 4,152 proteins was used to measure plasma proteins in patients with idiopathic, heritable or drug-induced-PAH from the UK National Cohort of PAH (n=357) and the French EFORT study (n=79). Prognostic proteins were identified in discovery-replication analyses of UK samples. Proteins independent of 6-minute walk distance (6-MWD) and NT-proBNP entered LASSO modelling and the best combination in a single score was evaluated against clinical targets in EFORT.Measurements and Main Results: Thirty-one proteins robustly informed prognosis independent of NT-proBNP and 6-MWD in the UK Cohort. A weighted combination score of 6 proteins was validated at baseline (5-year mortality, AUC:0.73, 95%CI:0.63-0.85) and follow-up in EFORT (AUC:0.84, 95%CI:0.75-0.94, p=9.96x10-6). The protein score risk-stratified patients independent of established clinical targets and risk equations. The addition of the 6-protein model score to NT-proBNP improved prediction of 5-year outcomes from AUC:0.762 (0.702-0.821) to 0.818 (0.767-0.869) by ROC analysis (p=0.00426 for difference in AUC) in the UK replication and French samples combined. Conclusions: The plasma proteome informs prognosis beyond established factors in PAH and may provide a more sensitive measure of therapeutic response.

Journal article

Kariotis S, Jammeh E, Swietlik EM, Pickworth JA, Rhodes CJ, Otero P, Wharton J, Iremonger J, Dunning MJ, Pandya D, Mascarenhas TS, Errington N, Thompson AAR, Romanoski CE, Rischard F, Garcia JGN, Yuan JX-J, An T-HS, Desai AA, Coghlan G, Lordan J, Corris PA, Howard LS, Condliffe R, Kiely DG, Church C, Pepke-Zaba J, Toshner M, Wort S, Graf S, Morrell NW, Wilkins MR, Lawrie A, Wang D, Bleda M, Bleda M, Hadinnapola C, Haimel M, Auckland K, Tilly T, Martin JM, Yates K, Treacy CM, Day M, Greenhalgh A, Shipley D, Peacock AJ, Irvine V, Kennedy F, Moledina S, MacDonald L, Tamvaki E, Barnes A, Cookson V, Chentouf L, Ali S, Othman S, Ranganathan L, Gibbs JSR, DaCosta R, Pinguel J, Dormand N, Parker A, Stokes D, Ghedia D, Tan Y, Ngcozana T, Wanjiku I, Polwarth G, Mackenzie Ross RV, Suntharalingam J, Grover M, Kirby A, Grove A, White K, Seatter A, Creaser-Myers A, Walker S, Roney S, Elliot CA, Charalampopoulos A, Sabroe I, Hameed A, Armstrong I, Hamilton N, Rothman AMK, Swift AJ, Wild JM, Soubrier F, Eyries M, Humbert M, Montani D, Girerd B, Scelsi L, Ghio S, Gall H, Ghofrani A, Bogaard HJ, Noordegraaf AV, Houweling AC, Veld AHI, Schotte Get al., 2021, Biological heterogeneity in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension identified through unsupervised transcriptomic profiling of whole blood, Nature Communications, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2041-1723

Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is a rare but fatal disease diagnosed by right heart catheterisation and the exclusion of other forms of pulmonary arterial hypertension, producing a heterogeneous population with varied treatment response. Here we show unsupervised machine learning identification of three major patient subgroups that account for 92% of the cohort, each with unique whole blood transcriptomic and clinical feature signatures. These subgroups are associated with poor, moderate, and good prognosis. The poor prognosis subgroup is associated with upregulation of the ALAS2 and downregulation of several immunoglobulin genes, while the good prognosis subgroup is defined by upregulation of the bone morphogenetic protein signalling regulator NOG, and the C/C variant of HLA-DPA1/DPB1 (independently associated with survival). These findings independently validated provide evidence for the existence of 3 major subgroups (endophenotypes) within the IPAH classification, could improve risk stratification and provide molecular insights into the pathogenesis of IPAH.

Journal article

Badagliacca R, Rischard F, Lo Giudice F, Howard L, Papa S, Valli G, Manzi G, Sciomer S, Palange P, Garcia JGN, Vanderpool R, Rinaldo R, Vigo B, Insel M, Fedele F, Vizza CDet al., 2021, Incremental value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in interme-diaterisk pulmonary arterial hypertension, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, ISSN: 1520-765X

Conference paper

Evans RA, McAuley H, Harrison EM, Shikotra A, Singapuri A, Sereno M, Elneima O, Docherty AB, Lone NI, Leavy OC, Daines L, Baillie JK, Brown JS, Chalder T, De Soyza A, Diar Bakerly N, Easom N, Geddes JR, Greening NJ, Hart N, Heaney LG, Heller S, Howard L, Hurst JR, Jacob J, Jenkins RG, Jolley C, Kerr S, Kon OM, Lewis K, Lord JM, McCann GP, Neubauer S, Openshaw PJM, Parekh D, Pfeffer P, Rahman NM, Raman B, Richardson M, Rowland M, Semple MG, Shah AM, Singh SJ, Sheikh A, Thomas D, Toshner M, Chalmers JD, Ho L-P, Horsley A, Marks M, Poinasamy K, Wain LV, Brightling CE, PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Groupet al., 2021, Physical, cognitive, and mental health impacts of COVID-19 after hospitalisation (PHOSP-COVID): a UK multicentre, prospective cohort study, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 9, Pages: 1275-1287, ISSN: 2213-2600

BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 on physical and mental health and employment after hospitalisation with acute disease is not well understood. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of COVID-19-related hospitalisation on health and employment, to identify factors associated with recovery, and to describe recovery phenotypes. METHODS: The Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID) is a multicentre, long-term follow-up study of adults (aged ≥18 years) discharged from hospital in the UK with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, involving an assessment between 2 and 7 months after discharge, including detailed recording of symptoms, and physiological and biochemical testing. Multivariable logistic regression was done for the primary outcome of patient-perceived recovery, with age, sex, ethnicity, body-mass index, comorbidities, and severity of acute illness as covariates. A post-hoc cluster analysis of outcomes for breathlessness, fatigue, mental health, cognitive impairment, and physical performance was done using the clustering large applications k-medoids approach. The study is registered on the ISRCTN Registry (ISRCTN10980107). FINDINGS: We report findings for 1077 patients discharged from hospital between March 5 and Nov 30, 2020, who underwent assessment at a median of 5·9 months (IQR 4·9-6·5) after discharge. Participants had a mean age of 58 years (SD 13); 384 (36%) were female, 710 (69%) were of white ethnicity, 288 (27%) had received mechanical ventilation, and 540 (50%) had at least two comorbidities. At follow-up, only 239 (29%) of 830 participants felt fully recovered, 158 (20%) of 806 had a new disability (assessed by the Washington Group Short Set on Functioning), and 124 (19%) of 641 experienced a health-related change in occupation. Factors associated with not recovering were female sex, middle age (40-59 years), two or more comorbidities, and more severe acute illness. The magnitude of the persistent health bur

Journal article

Frantz RP, Benza RL, Channick RN, Chin K, Howard LS, McLaughlin VV, Sitbon O, Zamanian RT, Hemnes AR, Cravets M, Bruey J-M, Roscigno R, Mottola D, Elman E, Zisman LS, Ghofrani H-Aet al., 2021, TORREY, a Phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of inhaled seralutinib for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, PULMONARY CIRCULATION, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2045-8932

Journal article

Wilkins M, McKie M, Law M, Roussakis AA, Harbaum L, Church C, Coghlan JG, Condliffe R, Howard L, Kiely D, Lordan J, Rothman A, Suntharalingam J, Toshner M, Wort J, Villar SSet al., 2021, EXPRESS: Positioning Imatinib for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PIPAH): A phase I/II design comprising dose finding and single arm efficacy Short title: Imatinib for PAH, Pulmonary Circulation, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2045-8940

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is an unmet clinical need. Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, 200 to 400 mg daily reduces pulmonary artery pressure and increases functional capacity in this patient group, but is generally poorly tolerated at the higher dose. We have designed an open-label, single-arm clinical study to investigate whether there is a tolerated dose of imatinib that can be better targeted to patients who will benefit. The study consists of two parts. Part 1 seeks to identify the best tolerated dose of Imatinib in the range from 100 and up to 400 mg using a Bayesian Continuous Reassessment Method. Part 2 will measure efficacy after 24 weeks treatment with the best tolerated dose using a Simon’s two-stage design. The primary efficacy endpoint is a binary variable. For patients with a baseline pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) >1000 dynes · s · cm−5, success is defined by an absolute reduction in PVR of ≥300 dynes · s · cm−5 at 24 weeks. For patients with a baseline PVR ≤1000 dynes · s · cm−5, success is a 30% reduction in PVR at 24 weeks. PVR will also be evaluated as a continuous variable by genotype as an exploratory analysis. Evaluating the response to that dose by genotype may inform a prospective biomarker-driven study.

Journal article

Toshner M, Church C, Harbaum L, Rhodes C, Villar Moreschi SS, Liley J, Jones R, Arora A, Batai K, Desai AA, Coghlan JG, Gibbs JSR, Gor D, Gräf S, Harlow L, Hernandez-Sanchez J, Howard LS, Humbert M, Karnes J, Kiely DG, Kittles R, Knightbridge E, Lam B, Lutz KA, Nichols WC, Pauciulo MW, Pepke-Zaba J, Suntharalingam J, Soubrier F, Trembath RC, Schwantes-An T-HL, Wort SJ, Wilkins M, Gaine S, Morrell NW, Corris PAet al., 2021, Mendelian randomisation and experimental medicine approaches to IL-6 as a drug target in PAH, European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 59, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0903-1936

Inflammation and dysregulated immunity are important in the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Compelling preclinical data supports the therapeutic blockade of interleukin-6 signalling.We conducted an open-label phase-II study of intravenous tocilizumab (8 mg·kg-1) over 6 months in group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension. Co-primary endpoints were safety, defined by incidence and severity of adverse events, and change in pulmonary vascular resistance. Separately, a Mendelian randomisation study was undertaken on 11,744 individuals with European ancestry including 2085 patients with idiopathic/heritable disease for the IL6R variant (rs7529229), known to associate with circulating IL6R levels.Twenty-nine patients (M/F 10/19; mean age 54.9[SD11.4]) were recruited. Nineteen had heritable/idiopathic and ten connective tissue disease associated pulmonary arterial hypertension. Six were withdrawn prior to drug administration. Twenty-three patients received at least one dose of tocilizumab. Tocilizumab was discontinued in 4 patients due to serious adverse events. There were no deaths. Despite evidence of target engagement in plasma interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels, both intention-to-treat and modified intention-to-treat analyses demonstrated no change in pulmonary vascular resistance. Inflammatory markers did not predict treatment response. Mendelian randomisation did not support an effect of the lead IL6R variant on risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (OR 0.99, p=0.88).Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of tocilizumab. Tocilizumab did not show any consistent treatment effect.

Journal article

Osterhout R, Highland KB, Frantz RP, Nickle D, Mcconnell J, Burger CD, Roscigno RF, Cravets M, Mccaffrey R, Zisman LS, Bruey J-M, Howard LSet al., 2021, Late Breaking Abstract - Evidence of target engagement and pathway modulation: biomarker analysis of the phase 1b inhaled seralutinib study, Publisher: EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY SOC JOURNALS LTD, ISSN: 0903-1936

Conference paper

Su J, Simonsen U, Mellemkjaer S, Howard LS, Manisty C, Hughes ADet al., 2021, Limited value of pulse wave analysis in assessing arterial wave reflection and stiffness in the pulmonary artery, PHYSIOLOGICAL REPORTS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2051-817X

Journal article

Errington N, Iremonger J, Pickworth JA, Kariotis S, Rhodes CJ, Rothman AM, Condliffe R, Elliot CA, Kiely DG, Howard LS, Wharton J, Thompson AAR, Morrell NW, Wilkins MR, Wang D, Lawrie Aet al., 2021, A diagnostic miRNA signature for pulmonary arterial hypertension using a consensus machine learning approach, EBioMedicine, Vol: 69, ISSN: 2352-3964

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but life shortening disease, the diagnosis of which is often delayed, and requires an invasive right heart catheterisation. Identifying diagnostic biomarkers may improve screening to identify patients at risk of PAH earlier and provide new insights into disease pathogenesis. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding molecules of RNA, previously shown to be dysregulated in PAH, and contribute to the disease process in animal models. METHODS: Plasma from 64 treatment naïve patients with PAH and 43 disease and healthy controls were profiled for microRNA expression by Agilent Microarray. Following quality control and normalisation, the cohort was split into training and validation sets. Four separate machine learning feature selection methods were applied to the training set, along with a univariate analysis. FINDINGS: 20 microRNAs were identified as putative biomarkers by consensus feature selection from all four methods. Two microRNAs (miR-636 and miR-187-5p) were selected by all methods and used to predict PAH diagnosis with high accuracy. Integrating microRNA expression profiles with their associated target mRNA revealed 61 differentially expressed genes verified in two independent, publicly available PAH lung tissue data sets. Two of seven potentially novel gene targets were validated as differentially expressed in vitro in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. INTERPRETATION: This consensus of multiple machine learning approaches identified two miRNAs that were able to distinguish PAH from both disease and healthy controls. These circulating miRNA, and their target genes may provide insight into PAH pathogenesis and reveal novel regulators of disease and putative drug targets.

Journal article

Frantz RP, Highland KB, McConnell JW, Burger CD, Roscigno RF, Cravets M, McCaffrey R, Zisman LS, Howard Let al., 2021, A Phase 1b, Multi-Center, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Inhaled Seralutinib in Subjects with WHO Group 1 Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, International Conference of the American-Thoracic-Society (ATS), Publisher: AMER THORACIC SOC, ISSN: 1073-449X

Conference paper

Seligman H, Zaman S, Pitcher DS, Shun-Shin MJ, Hepworth Lloyd F, Androschuk V, Sen S, Al-Lamee R, Miller DM, Barnett HW, Haji GS, Howard LS, Nijjer S, Mayet J, Francis DP, Ces O, Linton NWF, Peters NS, Petraco Ret al., 2021, Reusable snorkel masks adapted as particulate respirators, PLoS One, Vol: 16, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1932-6203

ntroductionDuring viral pandemics, filtering facepiece (FFP) masks together with eye protection form the essential components of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. There remain concerns regarding insufficient global supply and imperfect protection offered by currently available PPE strategies. A range of full-face snorkel masks were adapted to accept high grade medical respiratory filters using bespoke-designed 3D-printed connectors. We compared the protection offered by the snorkel to that of standard PPE using a placebo-controlled respirator filtering test as well as a fluorescent droplet deposition experiment. Out of the 56 subjects tested, 42 (75%) passed filtering testing with the snorkel mask compared to 31 (55%) with a FFP3 respirator mask (p = 0.003). Amongst the 43 subjects who were not excluded following a placebo control, 85% passed filtering testing with the snorkel versus to 68% with a FFP3 mask (p = 0.008). Following front and lateral spray of fluorescence liquid particles, the snorkel mask also provided superior protection against droplet deposition within the subject’s face, when compared to a standard PPE combination of FFP3 masks and eye protection (3.19x108 versus 6.81x108 fluorescence units, p<0.001). The 3D printable adaptors are available for free download online at https://www.ImperialHackspace.com/COVID-19-Snorkel-Respirator-Project/.ConclusionFull-face snorkel masks adapted as particulate respirators performed better than a standard PPE combination of FFP3 mask and eye protection against aerosol inhalation and droplet deposition. This adaptation is therefore a promising PPE solution for healthcare workers during highly contagious viral outbreaks.

Journal article

Frantz R, Howard LS, McLaughlin VV, Sitbon O, Zamanian RT, Benza RL, Chin K, Channick RN, Cravets M, Bruey J, Roscigno R, Mottola D, Zisman LS, Ghofrani Het al., 2021, Phase 2 Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Inhaled GB002 for the Treatment of World Health Organization Group 1 Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, Pages: S107-S107, ISSN: 1053-2498

Conference paper

Howard LSGE, He J, Watson GMJ, Huang L, Wharton J, Luo Q, Kiely DG, Condliffe R, Pepke-Zaba J, Morrell NW, Sheares KK, Ulrich A, Quan R, Zhao Z, Jing X, An C, Liu Z, Xiong C, Robbins PA, Dawes T, de Marvao A, Rhodes CJ, Richter MJ, Gall H, Ghofrani HA, Zhao L, Huson L, Wilkins MRet al., 2021, Supplementation with iron in pulmonary arterial hypertension: two randomized crossover trials., Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Vol: 18, Pages: 981-988, ISSN: 1546-3222

RATIONALE: Iron deficiency, in the absence of anaemia, is common in patients with idiopathic and heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and is associated with a worse clinical outcome. Oral iron absorption may be impeded by elevated circulating hepcidin levels. The safety and benefit of parenteral iron replacement in this patient population is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of parenteral iron replacement in pulmonary arterial hypertension. METHODS: In two randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled 12 week crossover studies, 39 patients in Europe received a single infusion of ferric carboxymaltose (Ferinject®) 1000 mg (or 15 mg/kg if weight < 66.7Kg) or saline as placebo and 17 patients in China received iron dextran (Cosmofer®) 20 mg iron/kg body weight or saline placebo. All patients had idiopathic or heritable PAH and iron deficiency at entry as defined by: a serum ferritin < 37 µg/l or iron < 10.3 µmol/l or transferrin saturations < 16.4%. RESULTS: Both iron treatments were well tolerated and improved iron status. Analysed separately and combined, there was no effect on any measure of exercise capacity (using cardiopulmonary exercise testing or 6 minute walk test) or cardio-pulmonary haemodynamics, as assessed by right heart catheterisation, cardiac magnetic resonance or plasma NT-proBNP, at 12 weeks. CONCLUSION: Iron repletion by administration of a slow release iron preparation as a single infusion to PAH patients with iron deficiency without overt anaemia was well tolerated but provided no significant clinical benefit at 12 weeks. Clinical trial registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01447628).

Journal article

Price LC, Martinez G, Brame A, Pickworth T, Samaranayake C, Alexander D, Garfield B, Aw T-C, McCabe C, Mukherjee B, Harries C, Kempny A, Gatzoulis M, Marino P, Kiely DG, Condliffe R, Howard L, Davies R, Coghlan G, Schreiber BE, Lordan J, Taboada D, Gaine S, Johnson M, Church C, Kemp S, Wong D, Curry A, Levett D, Price S, Ledot S, Reed A, Dimopoulos K, Wort SJet al., 2021, Perioperative management of patients with pulmonary hypertension undergoing non-cardiothoracic, non-obstetric surgery: a systematic review and expert consensus statement, BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA, Vol: 126, Pages: 774-790, ISSN: 0007-0912

Journal article

Mikhail G, Khawaja SA, Mohan P, Jabbour R, Bampouri T, Bowsher G, Hassan AMM, Huq F, Baghdasaryan L, Wang B, Sethi A, Sen S, Petraco R, Ruparelia N, Nijjer S, Malik IS, Foale R, Bellamy M, Kooner J, Rana BS, Cole G, Sutaria N, Kanaganayagam G, Nihoyannopoulos P, Fox K, Plymen CM, Pabari P, Howard L, Davies R, Hajoi G, Lo Giudice F, Kanagaratnam P, Anderson J, Chukwuemeka A, Khamis R, Varnava A, Baker CSR, Francis D, Asaria P, Al-Lamee Ret al., 2021, COVID-19 and its impact on the cardiovascular system, Open Heart, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2053-3624

Objectives: The clinical impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has varied across countries with varying cardiovascular manifestations. We review the cardiac presentations, in-hospital outcomes and development of cardiovascular complications in the initial cohort of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, United Kingdom.Methods: We retrospectively analysed 498 COVID-19 positive adult admissions to our institute from 7th March to 7th April 2020. Patient data was collected for baseline demographics, co-morbidities and in-hospital outcomes, especially relating to cardiovascular intervention.Results:Mean age was 67.4±16.1 years and 62.2%(n=310) were male. 64.1%(n=319) of our cohort had underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) with 53.4%(n=266) having hypertension. 43.2%(n=215) developed acute myocardial injury. Mortality was significantly increased in those patients with myocardial injury (47.4% vs 18.4%,p<0.001). Only 4 COVID-19 patients had invasive coronary angiography,2 underwent percutaneous coronary intervention and 1 required a permanent pacemaker implantation. 7.0%(n=35) of patients had an inpatient echocardiogram. Acute myocardial injury (OR 2.39,1.31-4.40,p=0.005) and history of hypertension (OR 1.88 ,1.01-3.55,p=0.049) approximately doubled the odds of in-hospital mortality in patients admitted with COVID-19 after other variables had been controlled for.Conclusion:Hypertension, pre-existing CVD and acute myocardial injury were associated with increased in-hospital mortality in our cohort of COVID-19 patients. However, only a low number of patients required invasive cardiac intervention.

Journal article

Kotecha T, Knight DS, Razvi Y, Kumar K, Vimalesvaran K, Thornton G, Patel R, Chacko L, Brown JT, Coyle C, Leith D, Shetye A, Ariff B, Bell R, Captur G, Coleman M, Goldring J, Gopalan D, Heightman M, Hillman T, Howard L, Jacobs M, Jeetley PS, Kanagaratnam P, Kon OM, Lamb LE, Manisty CH, Mathurdas P, Mayet J, Negus R, Patel N, Pierce I, Russell G, Wolff A, Xue H, Kellman P, Moon JC, Treibel TA, Cole GD, Fontana Met al., 2021, Patterns ofmyocardial injury in recovered troponin-positive COVID-19 patients assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance, EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL, Vol: 42, Pages: 1866-1878, ISSN: 0195-668X

Journal article

Howard L, Sitbon O, Galie N, Doelberg M, Gibbs JSR, Hoeper MM, Stefani M, Mathai SC, McLaughlin V, Perchenet L, Simonneau G, Chin KMet al., 2021, LONG-TERM OUTCOMES WITH INITIAL TRIPLE ORAL THERAPY IN PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION (PAH): INSIGHTS FROM TRITON, Publisher: BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: A57-A57, ISSN: 0040-6376

Conference paper

Lewis RA, Armstrong I, Bergbaum C, Brewis MJ, Cannon J, Charalampopoulos A, Church AC, Coghlan JG, Davies RJ, Dimopoulos K, Elliot C, Gibbs JSR, Gin-Sing W, Haji G, Hameed AG, Howard LS, Johnson MK, Kempny A, Kiely DG, Lo Giudice F, McCabe C, Peacock AJ, Peleyeju O, Pepke-Zaba J, Polwarth G, Price L, Sabroe I, Schreiber BE, Sheares K, Taboada D, Thompson AAR, Toshner MR, Wanjiku I, Wort SJ, Yorke J, Condliffe Ret al., 2021, EmPHasis-10 health-related quality of life score predicts outcomes in patients with idiopathic and connective tissue disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension: results from a UK multicentre study, EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY JOURNAL, Vol: 57, ISSN: 0903-1936

Journal article

Swietlik EM, Greene D, Zhu N, Megy K, Cogliano M, Rajaram S, Pandya D, Tilly T, Lutz KA, Welch CCL, Pauciulo MW, Southgate L, Martin JM, Treacy CM, Penkett CJ, Stephens JC, Bogaard HJ, Church C, Coghlan G, Coleman AW, Condliffe R, Eichstaedt CA, Eyries M, Gall H, Ghio S, Girerd B, Grünig E, Holden S, Howard L, Humbert M, Kiely DG, Kovacs G, Lordan J, Machado RD, Mackenzie Ross RV, McCabe C, Moledina S, Montani D, Olschewski H, Pepke-Zaba J, Price L, Rhodes CJ, Seeger W, Soubrier F, Suntharalingam J, Toshner MR, Vonk Noordegraaf A, Wharton J, Wild JM, Wort SJ, Lawrie A, Wilkins MR, Trembath RC, Shen Y, Chung WK, Swift AJ, Nichols WC, Morrell NW, Gräf Set al., 2021, Bayesian inference associates rare KDR variants with specific phenotypes in pulmonary arterial hypertension., Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, Vol: 14, Pages: 57-70, ISSN: 2574-8300

Background - Approximately 25% of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have been found to harbor rare mutations in disease-causing genes. To identify missing heritability in PAH we integrated deep phenotyping with whole-genome sequencing data using Bayesian statistics. Methods - We analyzed 13,037 participants enrolled in the NIHR BioResource - Rare Diseases (NBR) study, of which 1,148 were recruited to the PAH domain. To test for genetic associations between genes and selected phenotypes of pulmonary hypertension (PH), we used the Bayesian rare-variant association method BeviMed. Results - Heterozygous, high impact, likely loss-of-function variants in the Kinase Insert Domain Receptor (KDR) gene were strongly associated with significantly reduced transfer coefficient for carbon monoxide (KCO, posterior probability (PP)=0.989) and older age at diagnosis (PP=0.912). We also provide evidence for familial segregation of a rare nonsense KDR variant with these phenotypes. On computed tomographic imaging of the lungs, a range of parenchymal abnormalities were observed in the five patients harboring these predicted deleterious variants in KDR. Four additional PAH cases with rare likely loss-of-function variants in KDR were independently identified in the US PAH Biobank cohort with similar phenotypic characteristics. Conclusions - The Bayesian inference approach allowed us to independently validate KDR, which encodes for the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2 (VEGFR2), as a novel PAH candidate gene. Furthermore, this approach specifically associated high impact likely loss-of-function variants in the genetically constrained gene with distinct phenotypes. These findings provide evidence for KDR being a clinically actionable PAH gene and further support the central role of the vascular endothelium in the pathobiology of PAH.

Journal article

Dhawan RT, Gopalan D, Howard L, Vicente A, Park M, Manalan K, Wallner I, Marsden P, Dave S, Branley H, Russell G, Dharmarajah N, Kon OMet al., 2021, Beyond the clot: perfusion imaging of the pulmonary vasculature after COVID-19, LANCET RESPIRATORY MEDICINE, Vol: 9, Pages: 107-116, ISSN: 2213-2600

Journal article

Afoke J, Kanaganayagam GS, Casula R, Bruno VD, Howard L, Gibbs JSR, Punjabi Pet al., 2020, Cardiopulmonary exercise testing as a guideline indicator for mitral valve intervention, European-Society-of-Cardiology (ESC) Congress, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: 2003-2003, ISSN: 0195-668X

Conference paper

Stolfo D, Albani S, Biondi F, De Luca A, Barbati G, Howard L, Lo Giudice F, Tsampasian V, Pasanisi EM, Airo E, Bauleo C, Emdin M, Sinagra Get al., 2020, Global Right Heart Assessment with Speckle-Tracking Imaging Improves the Risk Prediction of a Validated Scoring System in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Vol: 33, Pages: 1334-+, ISSN: 0894-7317

Journal article

Swietlik EM, Ghataorhe P, Zalewska K, Wharton J, Howard LS, Taboada D, Cannon JE, Morrell NW, Wilkins MR, Toshner M, Pepke-Zaba J, Rhodes Cet al., 2020, Plasma metabolomics exhibit response to therapy in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 57, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 0903-1936

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition with limited effective treatment options. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a notable exception with pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) often proving curative. This study investigated the plasma metabolome of CTEPH patients, estimated reversibility to an effective treatment and explored the source of metabolic perturbations.We performed untargeted analysis of plasma metabolites in CTEPH patients compared to healthy controls and disease comparators. Changes in metabolic profile were evaluated in response to PEA. A subset of patients were sampled at three anatomical locations and plasma metabolite gradients calculated.We defined and validated altered plasma metabolite profiles in patients with CTEPH. 12 metabolites were confirmed by ROC analysis to distinguish CTEPH and both healthy (AUCs 0.64–0.94, all p<2×10−5) and disease controls (AUCs 0.58–0.77, all p<0.05. Many of the metabolic changes were notably similar to those observed in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). Only five metabolites (5-methylthioadenosine, N1-methyladenosine, N1-methylinosine, 7-methylguanine, N-formylmethionine) distinguished CTEPH from chronic thromboembolic disease or IPAH. Significant corrections (15–100% of perturbation) in response to PEA were observed in some but not all metabolites. Anatomical sampling identified 188 plasma metabolites, with significant gradients in tryptophan, sphingomyelin, methionine, and Krebs cycle metabolites . Metabolites associated with CTEPH and gradients also showed significant associations with clinical measures of disease severity.We identified a specific metabolic profile that distinguishes CTEPH from controls and disease comparators, despite the observation that most metabolic changes were common to both CTEPH and IPAH patients. Plasma metabolite gradients implicate cardiopulmonary tissue metabolism of metabolites associated with PH and metabolites t

Journal article

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