Last updated on August 2019

Inpatient Clinical Trial of NAC

Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to determine the beneficial effect of n-acetylcysteine (NAC), an inhaled medication that breaks down mucus, on lung function. NAC is a medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chronic diseases of the respiratory system, including asthma. With CT lung imaging, the investigators seek to identify a subgroup of patients with asthma with a 'mucus' profile. This is a single-arm study which means all participants will receive the same treatment.

Detailed Study Description

N-acetylcystine (NAC) is a mucolytic medication, meaning that it breaks apart mucus. Investigators know that mucus is a factor in severe asthma attacks. However, mucus may be a factor in chronic severe asthma as well. This role has been hard to prove because of difficulty in showing that mucus occludes the lumen in chronic severe disease. Using a novel approach of scoring mucus occlusion, investigators have used CT imaging to uncover that a majority of people with severe asthma have at least one lung segment with a mucus plug and 27% have more than four lung segments with mucus plugs.

Historically, studies of mucolytics, like NAC, have not shown benefit in other obstructive lung diseases, like COPD. However, utilizing CT mucus scores as a biomarker, investigators believe that mucolytic treatment may prove useful for those with significant mucus impaction.

This is a single-arm study of participants with asthma who also have evidence of mucus in their lungs as determined by CT imaging. Investigators hypothesize that by treating asthmatics, chosen based on the presence of mucus in the airways, with a mucolytic like NAC, will result in an improvement of lung function.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03581084

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