MONITORING OF LUNG INFECTIONS
The invention concerns the use of Low-Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (LF-NMR) for the monitoring of patients affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Through the analysis of a sputum sample of CF patients it allows to indirectly evaluate lung function in a fast way, enabling a correct management of lung infection and preventing further lung damage.
Lung function of CF patients is assessed by spirometric measures (FEV1(%)), sputum culture and analysis of blood inflammation biomarkers. These procedures require an equipped laboratory and highly specialized personnel, are time-consuming and expensive. The present method is based on LF-NMR measures to evaluate the relaxation time (T2m) of the hydrogens present in the aqueous part of the sputum. The T2m is reduced in a dose-dependent manner by the presence in the sputum of pathological substances, whose concentration increases with inflammation/lung infection. Therefore, the T2m allows to indirectly evaluate lung function in patients with CF. Experimental data show an excellent correlation between T2m, FEV1 (%) and inflammation indices. The method is easier, faster and cheaper compared to the available measures (FEV1 (%), inflammation markers). There are no similar techniques on the market for the sputum analysis.
- Use in public and private analysis laboratories;
- Patients monitoring in hospitals;
- Development of a new diagnostic procedure.
- Simple, fast and low-cost method;
- Does not require particularly equipped laboratories or hyper-specialized staff;
- It is suitable for a frequent monitoring of patients.