Dr. Frank Sciurba’s Research

Research Interests

Dr. Sciurba is currently the principal investigator of 5 NIH sponsored contracts/grants related to COPD or phenotypic characterization of lung disease including the NIH Specialized Center in Clinically Oriented Research in COPD award.  He has recently presented at 4 NHLBI sponsored workshops related to clinical and research strategies in COPD.

His long term research interest includes volume reduction strategies in patients with advanced emphysema and the use of exercise testing as a diagnostic and outcome tool in lung disease.

Among his research interests and recently published work includes assessment of new concepts related to patterns of pulmonary and systemic inflammation associated with COPD, the impact of therapy on dynamic hyperinflation, the role of quantitative imaging in the assessment and reclassification of COPD, the design of the VENT endobronchial valve trial and role of valves in relieving native lung hyperinflation following lung transplantation, the retinoic acid FORTE trial, gender differences in COPD, assessment of methodology of pulmonary exercise testing and activity monitoring in COPD,  and the important role of autoimmunity in the progression of COPD.

Hyperinflation in Emphysema

The Inactivity- Dyspena Spiral in COPD

The Reality: Sub-Phenotypes of COPD

Clinical Interests

Dr. Sciurba’s clinical focus is on advanced or difficult to manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema. Dr. Sciurba, with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, have extensive experience in evaluating patients for lung volume reduction surgery. In addition, consideration for enrollment in bronchoscopic volume reduction or other novel, pharmacologic, or biologic clinical trials considered for patients whose options are limited. Dr. Sciurba’s clinical and research philosophy revolves around the fact that all patients have a unique manifestation of the disease commonly known as COPD and thus may require a unique therapeutic regimen, specific to their own situation.

Relation between Lung Volume as a Percentage of Total Lung Capacity and Static Transpulmonary Pressure in Two Patients with Diffuse Emphysema.

The graphs show a shift to the right in transpulmonary pressure at a given lung volume after lung-reduction surgery (solid squares), as compared with preoperative values (open squares). The curves represent the response in normal subjects.

Panel A shows the results in a 64-year-old woman with severe emphysema who had a forced expiratory volume in one second of 41 percent of the predicted value and in whom measurements could be made throughout expirations (shown are composite data points from three separate expirations).

Panel B shows the results in a 41-year-old woman with more advanced disease (forced expiratory volume in one second, 12 percent of the predicted value), who could tolerate only one to two occlusions at the higher lung volumes (shown are data from two separate expirations) so that results could not be obtained at a lower lung volume.

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