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Pilot Study to Determine Health Effects of E-cigarettes in Healthy Young Adults

Principal Investigator: Karen Johnston

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 5UL1TR003015-02S4

Award Date: 8/20/2020

Institution: University of Virginia


In this CTP supplement to a parent grant (Integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iThriv): Using Data to Improve Health), researchers will conduct studies to assess early changes in human lungs due to e-cigarette use. This study will use a new magnetic resonance imaging technique called 3-dimensional hyperpolarized xenon-129 MRI. It is anticipated that this new MRI technique will help detect possible early changes in the lungs of healthy young people who use e-cigarettes. Study aims are: (1) to determine effects of e-cigarette use on healthy young adults (ages 21-30) who have never smoked cigarettes, and (2) to develop research methods to perform a larger clinical trial to determine whether e-cigarettes cause lung disease, and if so, what kind. To achieve the first aim, researchers will study ten e-cigarette users with normal lung function tests and ten healthy non-users. Researchers will perform MRI tests and collect exhaled breath, blood, and urine for testing. To achieve the second aim, researchers will develop study methods for performing MRIs at two locations, the University of Virginia and Duke University, in preparation for a multi-center clinical trial to conclusively determine if there are harmful health effects of e-cigarettes. Study results will provide new knowledge on the impact of e-cigarettes on human lung health. 

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