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Queries regarding SMARTASIA study (Alex Lee, 06 March 2015)

1. On page 2, in the 'Study population and sample size' section, it states that patients were excluded if they were found to 'use of ICS within 30 days preceding this study enrolment'. Is this a typing error for oral, rectal and parental GCS? Since the point of the study was to compare existing asthma medication (some of which used ICS) with Symbicort SMART. 2. On page 3, is Figure 1 'Symbicort Turbuohaler' a spelling error for Symbicort Turbuhaler? 3. On page 4, in the 'Patients' demographics and baseline characteristics' section, is 'Fluticason' a spelling error for Fluticasone?   Judging by the 4 resubmission versions from the pre-publication history, I am shocked that these concerns were not picked up by the reviewers.   read full comment

Comment on: Zhong et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 13:22

Colour of Ellipta Inhaler Device (Toby Capstick, 14 March 2014)

This is an interesting assessment of the Ellipta inhaler device in comparison to other commonly used devices. However it is somewhat disappointing that participants were provided with photos of the plain, unbranded Ellipta device used in the clinical trials. Whilst this was certainly to allow a fair assessment since patients will only have been familiar with the plain unbranded device, it is a failing of this study that this does not affect real-life... read full comment

Comment on: Svedsater et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 13:72

Updated Files for Apple/Mac Users (Robert Ross, 21 October 2013)

The files associated with this article that are to be downloaded to Apple/Mac computers no longer work with the newer operating systems.
Unfortunately the journal is unable to update the files on its system.
If you wish to put the interpretation program on an Apple product, the updated files and instructions are at:
Please go to that website or follow this link: XINT read full comment

Comment on: Ross et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 7:15

Concordance of mMRC and CAT when used for COPD classification according to GOLD 2011 (Norbert Banik, 16 July 2013)

I read your article with big interest. It seems that we now have already a couple of indications that the two alternative classification systems suggeted by GOLD will need some revision - as you also concluded.
I wanted to make you aware of a similar work which appeared online in ERJ already in December 2012 ( Unfortunately it did not show up in print yet.
I want to mention that CAT is a validated score and item-wise use is not intended. The correlation analyses you presented with regard to single CAT items and mMRC is thus lacking a methodological sound basis. read full comment

Comment on: Kim et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 13:35

Does the benifit last for one year only? (Prince James, 22 July 2011)

I read with interest the results of 5 year follow up of Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) cases of AIR1 trial1. Health care utilization events, Oral corticosteroid use, Maintenance asthma medication use, Pulmonary function tests results were similar in patient and control group in 2nd an 3rd year post BT. Only difference was significant improvement in Methacholine PC20 in BT group. There is no comment on changes in Asthma quality of life questionnaire score (AQLQ) and Asthma control questionnaire (ACQ)score, which were the only important outcomes in Bronchial thermoplasty trials (RISA, AIR1 and AIR2)2,3,4. Till date, BT failed to produce any significant improvement in FEV1 values of Asthma patients. The AIR1, AIR2 and RISA trials showed that BT provides some significant improvement in AQLQ and... read full comment

Comment on: Thomson et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 11:8

Tiotropium’s cost-effectiveness (Marc Decramer, 13 January 2011)

Dear Editor,

I read with great interest the contribution “Tiotropium’s cost-effectiveness for the treatment of COPD: a cost-utility analysis under real world conditions” by Mattias Neyt, Stephan Devries, Nancy Thiry and Ann Van de Bruel1. This is a very interesting study and a nice application of cost-effectiveness analysis. Nevertheless, I would like to make two remarks. First, the 4-year UPLIFT study already provided us with indirect evidence of superiority of Tiotropium over the presently used long-acting β2-agonists or at least additive effects as the majority of the patients in both groups in this study were taking long-acting β2-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids (72-74% during the study)2. Under those conditions Tiotropium significantly... read full comment

Comment on: Neyt et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 10:47

Tiotropium in the treatment of COPD (Walter Vincken, 08 December 2010)

Letter to the Editor of BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

Tiotropium in the treatment of COPD.

I read with interest Neyt et al.’s article published on-line in BMC Pulmonary Medicine on September 15, 2010.(1) In this cost-utility analysis, they question the ‘value for money’ of tiotropium in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) utilizing Belgian reimbursement regulations ‘under real-world conditions’. However valuable their analysis might seam, in doing so, they only took into consideration the effects of tiotropium on exacerbation- and hospitalization rates, including effects on quality of life (QoL) related to avoiding exacerbations. As already pointed out by Kostikas and Bouros in their commentary in the same issue of your... read full comment

Comment on: Neyt et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 10:47

Comments on the paper “Different screening strategies (single or dual) for the diagnosis of suspected latent tuberculosis: a cost-effectiveness analysis” (Albert Nienhaus, 19 May 2010)

This is the second analysis of the costs of a screening programme based on UK data [1]. The first paper was published by Hardy et al. 2010 and compared NICE recommendations for TB screening in immigrants from high-incidence countries with a strategy that performed IGRA in emigrants from countries with a TB incidence of >200/100,000 and carried out chest x-rays (CXR) on those positive in IGRA (Quantiferon-Gold-in-Tube) [2]. The second strategy was less expensive than the NICE strategy.

Cost-effectiveness analyses are crucial because recommendations on the use of IGRA in TB screenings are currently being revised in several countries (e.g. US, UK, Germany, Switzerland). Revision or drafting of guidance will to a large extent be based on economical considerations, which makes cost-... read full comment

Comment on: Pooran et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 10:7

Erratum (Megan Doerr, 03 November 2008)

The endothelin receptor-A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discussed in this paper, "C to T substitution located in exon 8 at position 1363 of the EDNRA gene" (page 2) is erroneously listed as His323His (page 1) and as rs5333 (page 2). The correct rs number for this SNP is rs5343. read full comment

Comment on: Taillé et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 7:5

Statistical Error (Surya Bhatt, 10 January 2007)

This paper is, in general, well written. However I would like to point out some glaring discrepancies in Table 5. When the 95% confidence interval crosses one as for hypercapnia, it would not be significant. Also, to say hypercapnia and presence of co-morbidity significantly predicted death would be wrong as the odds ratio is less than one, suggesting exactly the opposite! Co-morbid illnesses have not been adequately defined in methods and would have been better quatified by using standard indices like the Charlson's Index.Whether the end point was in-hospital mortality is again not clear. read full comment

Comment on: Mohan et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 6:27

Response to comment submitted by Dr. Marcus et al. (Ralph Fregosi, 17 November 2004)

Marcus and colleagues recently commented on our paper, published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine [1], where we report a significant correlation (R = 0.31) between the obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (OAHI) and hypoxic sensitivity in 50 children. In contrast, in an earlier study Marcus et al did not detect impaired hypoxic sensitivity in children with obstructive sleep apnea, prompting the comment [2]. Marcus et al used a cross-sectional approach, wherein a group of children with obstructive sleep apnea were compared to an age-matched healthy control group. But differences in experimental design (cross-sectional vs. correlation) cannot explain the different findings because we also found a significant difference in the average hypoxic ventilatory response slope when we divided the subjects... read full comment

Comment on: Fregosi et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 4:4

Ventilatory drive in children with obstructive apnea (Carole Marcus, 06 October 2004)

Dear Editor,Recently, Fregosi et al published an article describing the ventilatory drive during wakefulness in children in relation to their apnea hypopnea index (1). In this article, they compared their results to those of a study we published a number of years ago (2). We have, therefore, reanalyzed the raw data from our study in order to address their questions.Fregosi et al studied the ventilatory drive in a sample of children obtained from the general community. They found a correlation between the P0.1 during hypoxia and the apnea hypopnea index (AHI), although they found no relationship between steady state ventilatory responses to hypoxia/hypercapnia and the AHI. In the discussion, they compare their results to our study, in which rebreathing ventilatory responses to hypoxia... read full comment

Comment on: Fregosi et al. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 4:4