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Comparison of methods for the analysis of airway macrophage particulate load from induced sputum, a potential biomarker of air pollution exposure.

Jary, Hannah, Rylance, Jamie ORCID:, Patel, Latifa, Gordon, Stephen ORCID: and Mortimer, Kevin ORCID: (2015) 'Comparison of methods for the analysis of airway macrophage particulate load from induced sputum, a potential biomarker of air pollution exposure.'. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, Vol 15, Issue 137.

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Air pollution is associated with a high burden or morbidity and mortality, but exposure cannot be quantified rapidly or cheaply. The particulate burden of macrophages from induced sputum may provide a biomarker. We compare the feasibility of two methods for digital quantification of airway macrophage particulate load.

Induced sputum samples were processed and analysed using ImageJ and Image SXM software packages. We compare each package by resources and time required.

13 adequate samples were obtained from 21 patients. Median particulate load was 0.38 μm(2) (ImageJ) and 4.0 % of the total cellular area of macrophages (Image SXM), with no correlation between results obtained using the two methods (correlation coefficient = -0.42, p = 0.256). Image SXM took longer than ImageJ (median 26 vs 54 mins per participant, p = 0.008) and was less accurate based on visual assessment of the output images. ImageJ's method is subjective and requires well-trained staff.

Induced sputum has limited application as a screening tool due to the resources required. Limitations of both methods compared here were found: the heterogeneity of induced sputum appearances makes automated image analysis challenging. Further work should refine methodologies and assess inter- and intra-observer reliability, if these methods are to be developed for investigating the relationship of particulate and inflammatory response in the macrophage.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QY Clinical Pathology > Diagnostic Tests > QY 120 Sputum
WA Public Health > Air pollution > WA 754 Pollution and pollutants (incl. tobacco pollution; passive smoking)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Lymphatic System > WH 650 Reticuloendothelial system
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Tracy Seddon
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 16:09
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2020 16:19


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