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Unexpected results on ventilation defects in non-identical twins

Researchers find unexpected results after examining MRI images of non-identical twins with asthma.

In a study published in Chest Journal, researchers looked at imaging results of twins with asthma. The two participants were adult females and the study lasted from 2010 to 2017. Each twin had moderate asthma and both had never smoked. They remained on the same asthma medication over the duration of the study. MRI tests, CT scans, and pulmonary function tests were completed at the beginning of the study and again at follow-up.

Imaging results showed spatially identical ventilation defects on the twins’ lungs. These same defects – located on the upper left sides of their lungs – were still present at follow-up. These results show that ventilation defects can remain in the same area over time. After researchers looked at airway tree examinations, they found that one of the twins had more airways than the other.

Ventilation defects were previously thought to be random and to change location as time goes on. This study shows the opposite as the twins had an unchanging and unique ventilation defect location. This study allows researchers and clinicians to further understand asthma, airway defects, and how to provide patients with appropriate therapy unique to their condition.


Written by Laura Laroche, HBASc, Medical Writer




Eddy, Rachel L., et al. “Nonidentical Twins With Asthma”. Chest Journal. December 2019. Online.

Lung images of twins with asthma add to understanding of the disease. 2019,, assessed Dec 5, 2019.

Image by kalhh from Pixabay




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