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Year in review 2013: paediatric and adult clinical studies
  1. Andy Bush1,
  2. Ian Pavord2
  1. 1National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof Andy Bush, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, SW3 6NP, UK

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This is the first of two reviews of Thorax in 2013 focusing on manuscripts dealing with the clinical aspects of paediatrics and adult respiratory medicine. Our prizes last year were a popular addition and so we have retained this in 2013. Decisions are purely those of the editors and deputy editors. Our only restriction has been to not consider manuscripts from Imperial, Leicester and Oxford, not because they were too numerous or too good (regrettably), but because we have conflicts of interest.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an area with major research activity, especially with the introduction of new therapies bolstered with good randomised controlled trials. Aerosolised antibiotics have been the mainstay of therapy for chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection since Margaret Hodson's trials in the 1980s, replicated in the USA more than a decade later (if it did not happen in the USA, it did not happen!). Once daily nebulised amikacin had a good profile in a phase II trial1—but should it be reserved for atypical Mycobacterial infection? Dry powder devices are increasingly being used instead of nebulisers to try to reduce treatment burden, so an important study showed that for colomycin the two methods of delivery were equivalent.2 An accompanying editorial3 discussed how a favourite Thorax set of whipping boys, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, have made a dog's breakfast of their recommendations. Finally, non-CF bronchiectasis is an orphan disease, so good to see nebulised ciprofloxacin being shown to be effective in a phase II trial in this group.4 Another theme is the increasing realisation of the importance of pulmonary exacerbations (also known as lung attacks) in CF. High frequency chest wall oscillation is an expensive adjunct to airway clearance, which is much hyped at meetings. A randomised controlled trial, the winner …

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  • Funding AB was supported by the NIHR Respiratory Disease Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.