Report from the British Thoracic Society Meeting – December 2018

This was a very successful and well attended event by medics from all over the world. The event took place in the QE11 Centre, Westminster, London.

Our thanks go to Charlotte Richardson and Farheen Daudvohra from the Royal Brompton Hospital who manned our PCD stand, spreading the word about PCD. Gary and Myra Tipping from the PCD Family Support group also helped during the event. Questions about PCD were asked from medics as far afield as Pakistan and Finland and answered by the PCD team manning the stand.

Dr Amelia Shoemark  gave a very interesting presentation on methods of diagnosing PCD and how this has changed over the years, including imaging, genetics and advanced immuno-fluorescence based techniques. She explained how important early diagnosis is, and that a PICADOR test has been devised for children with a daily wet cough.  This test comprises 7 questions which can indicate the need for further investigation and testing for PCD.

Currently there are 40 known genes that cause PCD. The latest one, DNAH 9, was discovered only last week.  This one manifests itself by a partial defect in the outer dynein arm. Another presentation was given by Professor Michael Steiner on pulmonary rehabilitation and the role of physical activity as an outcome measure for patients with COPD/bronchiectasis.  He explained that if a patient is inactive they are more likely to be readmitted to hospital and there is also a higher mortality rate.  However, if a patient is active and exercises, then their resilience is improved, although this does not modify the likelihood of infection.  It has been discovered that the health of the quadriceps muscles is a very good indicator of longevity.

Thanks again to our team for spreading the word about PCD.