Navigation Links
University of Leicester study fundamentally alters our understanding of lung growth

A ground-breaking international study into the ways lungs grow and develop has challenged existing medical understanding that our lungs are completely formed by the age of three.

The researchers, led by a team at the University of Leicester, put forward a theory for the first time based on research evidence that new air sacs, called alveoli, are constantly being formed. This contradicts information in most medical textbooks that explain that the tiny air sacs begin to develop before birth (around the 6th month of pregnancy) and continue to increase in number until the age of about 3 years.

Dr. Manjith Narayanan, one of the leaders of the study from the University of Leicester, said: "It was believed that there was no further increase in the number of alveoli beyond that age, and that the existing alveoli just expanded as the lungs grew bigger until final adult size was reached."

"Our study has challenged this by suggesting that new alveoli continue to be formed as the lungs grow."

The study, published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, was a collaboration between researchers in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, and the University of Bern. It was funded by The Wellcome Trust1.

The researchers studied over 100 healthy volunteers aged between 7 and 21 years. Each volunteer had a range of breathing tests in Leicester, and was then accompanied to Nottingham for a special magnetic resonance (MR) scan, during which they breathed in hyperpolarised helium and held their breaths.

Dr. Narayanan, a Clinical Research Fellow, explains:

"The helium is hyperpolarised, which means that the molecules all line up in one direction and it then behaves like a magnetised gas. Within the scanner, we can measure how the magnetism decays, and this in turn depends on the size of the air sacs alveoli which contain the helium. The technique is safe and not painful or uncomfortable in any way."

Senior Lecturer at Leicester Dr. Caroline Beardsmore describes the study:

"We studied small children, whose lungs contain approximately one litre of air, and full-grown adults with lung volumes of around four litres. We found very little difference in the size of the alveoli across everyone we studied. If the size of the alveoli are hardly changing, this can only mean one thing as our lungs increase in size, we must be growing new alveoli."

Professor Mike Silverman, Emeritus Professor of Child Health at Leicester, adds:

"This research has important implications. If we can continue to develop new alveoli beyond early childhood, going on through adolescence, there is the potential for lung repair following injury that was never realised before. Conversely, external factors (possibly including inhaled pollution) could have a negative impact on lung development. We now have the basis for looking at many factors with the potential to impact on lung health in the future."

Contact: Dr. Manjith Narayanan
University of Leicester

Related medicine news :

1. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
2. Akron Institute of Herzing University Launches Its First Bachelors Degree Programs to Prepare Students for Even Greater Success in Business, Health Care and IT
3. Most pandemic plans in Ontario hospitals have not been tested: Queens University study
4. San Diego State University and BIOCOM Institute Receive $4.95 Million Grant: The BRIDGE Project, Linking Education to Employment in San Diegos Life Sciences Industry
5. Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University announce education and research partnership
6. Untreated poor vision in elderly linked to dementia, University of Michigan study shows
7. Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. President Joseph F. Page to Speak at University of Michigan
8. Arizona State Universitys Decision Theater offers balance to an off-kilter world
9. Forest City Announces Joint Venture with Health Care REIT for University Park Life Science Properties
10. Herzing University Online Launches Master and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Nursing
11. Nurtur Acquires ActivHealth and Wellness by Choice; Gains Exclusive Partnership with Duke University Center for Living
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
University of Leicester study fundamentally alters our understanding of lung growth
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, ... Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility ... home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the ... Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We ... new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, ... Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in ... the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), ... Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, ... agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  Global ... a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the ... needs, today announced the closing of its previously ... common stock, at the public offering price of ... the offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory ... strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., ... June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical ... Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: