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NHLBI TOPMed: SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcome Measures In COPD Study (SPIROMICS)

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Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study Description

Subpopulations and intermediate outcome measures in COPD study (SPIROMICS) supports the prospective collection and analysis of phenotypic, biomarker, genetic, genomic, and clinical data from subjects with COPD for the purpose of identifying subpopulations and intermediate outcome measures. It is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is coordinated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Molecular fingerprinting and extensive subject phenotyping will be performed to identify disease subpopulations and to identify and validate surrogate markers of disease severity, which will be useful as intermediate outcome measures for future clinical trials. Secondary aims are to clarify the natural history of COPD, to develop bioinformatic resources that will enable the utilization and sharing of data in studies of COPD and related diseases, and to create a collection of clinical, biomarker, radiographic, and genetic data that can be used by external investigators for other studies of COPD.

Participating Institutions:

Research participants for SPIROMICS will be enrolled, phenotyped, and followed at twelve SPIROMICS Clinical Centers: Columbia University, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, Wake Forest University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Iowa, University of Utah, National Jewish Health, University of California at San Francisco, and University of California at Los Angeles. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill serves as the Genomics and Informatics Center. The Radiology Reading Center is based at the University of Iowa. The PFT Reading Center is based at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Study Design:

SPIROMICS is a prospective cohort study that enrolled approximately 2,981 participants at twelve clinical centers over five years. Participants are distributed across four enrollment strata (i.e., Never-smokers, Smokers without COPD, Mild/Moderate COPD, and Severe COPD).

Study Visits:

Participants have up to four in-person visits (Baseline and Annual Clinic Visits at years 1, 2, 3 after Baseline). Study questionnaires and spirometry are completed at all main study visits. Blood and urine samples are collected at visits 1, 2, and 4. Sputum samples are collected at Visit 1. The CT scans are completed and Baseline and Visit 2. Participants also receive quarterly follow-up calls to assess health status and determine if an exacerbation has occurred.


  • Bronchoscopy and Immunophenotyping Substudy The Bronchoscopy Substudy will enroll 50 subjects per site, for a total of 300 participants. These participants will be recruited across all four study strata. This substudy includes two study visits. During the first visit, sputum samples are collected for Immunophenotyping analysis at the Immunophenotyping Core Lab based at the University of Michigan. Participants then return for a second visit during which samples are collected via bronchoscopy, including bronchoalveolar lavage, epithelial brushings and bronchial biopsies. Immunophenotyping analysis is also conducted on BAL and blood collected during the bronchoscopy study visit. - Repeatability Substudy The entire baseline clinic visit was repeated on 98 volunteers to determine reliability of measurement procedures. All baseline study-related procedures and questionnaires, including the CT scan, were re-administered and new samples of blood, urine, saliva, and sputum were collected. Field center staff processed these biospecimen samples according to the same protocol. - Exacerbation Substudy The Exacerbation Substudy is a prospective, longitudinal observational study of up to 400 participants, which will allow the assessment of participant-driven health care utilization (HCU) events and symptom-defined exacerbation events over time. HCU-driven events are defined by change in medical treatment in response to a perceived COPD Exacerbation. Symptom-based events will be defined by using EXACT-PRO (EXacerbations of Chronic Pulmonary Disease Tool - Patient Reported Outcome), a daily symptom diary developed to measure the frequency, severity, and duration of exacerbations in clinical trials. All participants are provided with a PDA on which to complete the diary. Participants reporting a possible COPD exacerbation will be brought into the study clinic for a study visit to collect biological specimens and questionnaire data. The overall objectives of the Exacerbation Substudy are to:
  1. Obtain clinical data and specimens on SPIROMICS participants before and during an acute COPD exacerbation defined by
    1. Health care utilization triggered by the subject, or 1. Symptomatic change (triggered by an EXACT defined threshold) 1. Symptom variability (EXACT), 1. Clinical data and specimen parameters during a stable state (baseline), 1. The relationship between clinical and specimen data and symptom severity and variability.

Consent Codes


Focus / Diseases

Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive

Study Design

Prospective Longitudinal Cohort

Data Types

SNP/CNV Genotypes (NGS)