Aα-Val360: A Marker of Neutrophil Elastase and COPD Disease Activity.

Richard Carter, Michael Ungurs, RA Mumford, Robert Stockley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


The FEV1 is currently the most widely used marker of COPD disease severity, however, it is a poor surrogate of the emphysematous component and the underlying pathophysiological mechanism and therefore new markers are urgently needed. Neutrophil elastase (NE) is likely to play a key pathophysiological role in COPD and the current study explores a marker of NE activity as a potential indicator of COPD disease activity.Aα-Val(360) was measured in 81 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of COPD, in the stable state and also at presentation with an acute exacerbation, and comparisons were made with lung function tests and CT imaging. The relationship of Aα-Val(360 )with disease progression was also assessed in 40 of the subjects over a 4 year period.Baseline Aα-Val(360 )related to physiological and radiological markers of disease severity, was higher at presentation with an acute exacerbation than in the stable state and (at least partly) related to disease progression over the subsequent 4 years.We demonstrate that Aα-Val(360 )is a marker of cross-sectional COPD disease severity and possibly disease progression, and represents a new concept of specific biomarkers. This study therefore reports the first in vivo data to support the pathophysiological role of NE in COPD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalThe European respiratory journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2012


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