Benjamin D. Medoff, M.D.

Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, MGH
Specialty: Pulmonary Medicine

Massachusetts General Hospital

Bulfinch 1-148
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114


The following is a list of recent publications for which this Partners Asthma Center physician has been cited as an author in PubMed databases. Study abstracts have been provided for your convenience.

Medoff, B. D., A. Sauty, et al. (2002). "IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (CXCL10) contributes to airway hyperreactivity and airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma." J Immunol 168(10): 5278-86.

Allergic asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyper-reactivity. Cytokines and chemokines specific for Th2-type inflammation predominate in asthma and in animal models of this disease. The role of Th1-type inflammatory mediators in asthma remains controversial. IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10; CXCL10) is an IFN-gamma-inducible chemokine that preferentially attracts activated Th1 lymphocytes. IP-10 is up-regulated in the airways of asthmatics, but its function in asthma is unclear. To investigate the role of IP-10 in allergic airway disease, we examined the expression of IP-10 in a murine model of asthma and the effects of overexpression and deletion of IP-10 in this model using IP-10-transgenic and IP-10-deficient mice. Our experiments demonstrate that IP-10 is up-regulated in the lung after allergen challenge. Mice that overexpress IP-10 in the lung exhibited significantly increased airway hyperreactivity, eosinophilia, IL-4 levels, and CD8(+) lymphocyte recruitment compared with wild-type controls. In addition, there was an increase in the percentage of IL-4-secreting T lymphocytes in the lungs of IP-10-transgenic mice. In contrast, mice deficient in IP-10 demonstrated the opposite results compared with wild-type controls, with a significant reduction in these measures of Th2-type allergic airway inflammation. Our results demonstrate that IP-10, a Th1-type chemokine, is up-regulated in allergic pulmonary inflammation and that this contributes to the airway hyperreactivity and Th2-type inflammation seen in this model of asthma.

Mathew, A., B. D. Medoff, et al. (2002). "Cutting edge: Th2 cell trafficking into the allergic lung is dependent on chemoattractant receptor signaling." J Immunol 169(2): 651-5.

Th2 cells are recruited to the lung where they mediate the asthma phenotype. Since the molecular mechanisms regulating Th2 cell trafficking remain unknown, we sought to determine whether trafficking of Th2 cells into the lung is mediated by G alpha i-coupled chemoattractant receptors. We show here that in contrast to untreated Th2 cells, pertussis toxin-treated Th2 cells were unable to traffic into the lung, airways, or lymph nodes following Ag challenge and therefore were unable to induce allergic inflammation in vivo. Pertussis toxin-treated Th2 cells were functional cells, however, and when directly instilled into the airways of mice, bypassing their need to traffic to the lung, were able to induce airway eosinophilic inflammation. These studies conclusively demonstrate that trafficking of Th2 cells into the lung is an active process dependent on chemoattractant receptors.

Medoff, B. D., R. S. Harris, et al. (2000). "Use of recruitment maneuvers and high-positive end-expiratory pressure in a patient with acute respiratory distress syndrome." Crit Care Med 28(4): 1210-6.

OBJECTIVE: To present the use of a novel high-pressure recruitment maneuver followed by high levels of positive end-expiratory pressure in a patient with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). DESIGN: Observations in one patient. SETTING: The medical intensive care unit at a tertiary care university teaching hospital. PATIENT: A 32-yr-old woman with severe ARDS secondary to streptococcal sepsis. INTERVENTIONS: The patient had severe gas exchange abnormalities because of acute lung injury and marked lung collapse. Attempts to optimize recruitment based on the inflation pressure-volume (PV) curve were not sufficient to avoid dependent lung collapse. We used a recruitment maneuver using 40 cm H2O of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and 20 cm H2O of pressure controlled ventilation above PEEP for 2 mins to successfully recruit the lung. The recruitment was maintained with 25 cm H2O of PEEP, which was much higher than the PEEP predicted by the lower inflection point (P(Flex)) of the PV curve. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Recruitment was assessed by improvements in oxygenation and by computed tomography of the chest. With the recruitment maneuvers, the patient had a dramatic improvement in gas exchange and we were able to demonstrate nearly complete recruitment of the lung by computed tomography. A PV curve was measured that demonstrated a P(Flex) of 16-18 cm H2O. CONCLUSION: Accumulating data suggest that the maximization and maintenance of lung recruitment may reduce lung parenchymal injury from positive pressure ventilation in ARDS. We demonstrate that in this case PEEP alone was not adequate to recruit the injured lung and that a high-pressure recruitment maneuver was required. After recruitment, high-level PEEP was needed to prevent derecruitment and this level of PEEP was not adequately predicted by the P(Flex) of the PV curve.

Bigatello, L. M., D. Hess, et al. (2000). "Sildenafil can increase the response to inhaled nitric oxide." Anesthesiology 92(6): 1827-9.

Iiyama, K., L. Hajra, et al. (1999). "Patterns of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in rabbit and mouse atherosclerotic lesions and at sites predisposed to lesion formation." Circ Res 85(2): 199-207.

The recruitment of mononuclear leukocytes and formation of intimal macrophage-rich lesions at specific sites of the arterial tree are key events in atherogenesis. Inducible endothelial cell adhesion molecules may participate in this process. In aortas of normal chow-fed wild-type mice and rabbits, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), but not E-selectin, were expressed by endothelial cells in regions predisposed to atherosclerotic lesion formation. En face confocal microscopy of the mouse ascending aorta and proximal arch demonstrated that VCAM-1 expression was increased on the endothelial cell surface in lesion-prone areas. ICAM-1 expression extended into areas protected from lesion formation. Hypercholesterolemia induced atherosclerotic lesion formation in rabbits, LDL receptor and apolipoprotein E knockout mice, and Northern blot analysis demonstrated increased steady-state mRNA levels of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1, but not of E-selectin. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 were expressed predominantly by endothelium in early lesions and by intimal cells in more advanced lesions. In early and advanced lesions, staining was most intense in endothelial cells at and adjacent to lesion borders. ICAM-1 staining extended into the uninvolved aorta. These expression patterns were highly reproducible in both species. The only difference was that VCAM-1 expression in endothelium over the central portions of lesions was found frequently in rabbits and rarely in mice. The expression of VCAM-1 by arterial endothelium in normal animals may represent a pathogenic mechanism or a phenotypic marker of predisposition to atherogenesis.

Hess, D. R., B. D. Medoff, et al. (1999). "Pulmonary mechanics and graphics during positive pressure ventilation." Int Anesthesiol Clin 37(3): 15-34.

Oelberg, D. A., B. D. Medoff, et al. (1998). "Systemic oxygen extraction during incremental exercise in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 78(3): 201-7.

To determine if decreased systemic oxygen (O2) extraction contributes to the exercise limit in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 40 consecutive incremental cycle ergometer exercise tests performed by such patients, from which a "log-log" lactate threshold (LT) was identified, were compared to those of 8 patients with left ventricular failure (LVF) and 10 normal controls. Pulmonary gas exchange and minute ventilation were measured continuously and arterial blood gas tensions, pH, and lactate concentrations were sampled each minute. Cardiac output (Qc) was measured by first-pass radionuclide ventriculography. The systemic O2 extraction ratio (O2ER) was calculated as arterial - mixed venous O2 content difference (CaO2 - CvO2)/CaO2. Peak exercise O2 uptake (VO2peak) was markedly reduced in both COPD and LVF [41 (3) and 42 (3)% predicted, respectively], compared to controls [89 (2)% predicted, P < 0.0001 for each]. Similarly, the LT occurred at a low percentage of predicted maximal oxygen consumption in both COPD and LVF [25 (2) and 27 (3)%] compared to normals [46 (3)%, P < 0.0001 for each]. The systemic O2ER at peak exercise was severely reduced in COPD [0.36 (0.02)] compared to the other groups [P < 0.0001 for each], for whom it was nearly identical [0.58 (0.03) vs 0.63 (0.04), LVF vs control, P > 0.05]. In the COPD group, an early LT correlated with reduced systemic O2ER at peak exercise (r = 0.64, P < 0.0001), but not with any index of systemic O2 delivery. These data suggest that lactic acidemia during exercise in patients with severe COPD is better related to abnormal systemic O2 extraction than to its delivery and contributes to the exercise limit.

Medoff, B. D., D. A. Oelberg, et al. (1998). "Breathing reserve at the lactate threshold to differentiate a pulmonary mechanical from cardiovascular limit to exercise." Chest 113(4): 913-8.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Criteria used to define the respective roles of pulmonary mechanics and cardiovascular disease in limiting exercise performance are usually obtained at peak exercise, but are dependent on maximal patient effort. To differentiate heart from lung disease during a less effort-dependent domain of exercise, the predictive value of the breathing reserve index (BRI=minute ventilation [VE]/maximal voluntary ventilation [MVV]) at the lactate threshold (LT) was evaluated. DESIGN: Thirty-two patients with COPD and a pulmonary mechanical limit (PML) to exercise defined by classic criteria at maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) were compared with 29 patients with a cardiovascular limit (CVL) and 12 normal control subjects. Expired gases and VE were measured breath by breath using a commercially available metabolic cart (Model 2001; MedGraphics Corp; St. Paul, Minn). Arterial blood gases, pH, and lactate were sampled each minute during exercise, and cardiac output (Q) was measured by first-pass radionuclide ventriculography (System 77; Baird Corp; Bedford, Mass) at rest and peak exercise. RESULTS: For all patients, the BRI at lactate threshold (BRILT) correlated with the BRI at VO2max (BRIMAX) (r=0.85, p<0.0001). The BRILT was higher for PML (0.73+/-0.03, mean+/-SEM) vs CVL (0.27+/-0.02, p<0.0001), and vs control subjects (0.24+/-0.03, p<0.0001). A BRILT > or = 0.42 predicted a PML at maximum exercise, with a sensitivity of 96.9%, a specificity of 95.1%, a positive predictive value of 93.9%, and a negative predictive value of 97.5%. CONCLUSIONS: The BRILT, a variable measured during the submaximal realm of exercise, can distinguish a PML from CVL.

Hess, D. R. and B. D. Medoff (1998). "Mechanical ventilation of the patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Respir Care Clin N Am 4(3): 439-73.

Mechanical ventilation of the patient with COPD is a balance between avoiding overdistension, auto-PEEP, providing adequate gas exchange, and allowing patient-ventilator synchrony. Figure 13 shows an approach that the authors have found helpful to achieve these goals.

Nassi, M., W. R. Brody, et al. (1982). "Iterative reconstruction--reprojection: an algorithm for limited data cardiac-computed tomography." IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 29(5): 333-41.