Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Breathing Patterns

MRI scan study reveals lung damage caused by asthma isn't random

15 January 2020

Breathing Patterns

Asthma is a widespread condition that affects ventilation during breathing – often leaving inflammation and scarring around the airways and lungs. Until recently, the patterns of damage were thought to be random, but these MRI scans from related asthma sufferers show matching currents in the air flow (blue) around their affected lungs. The scans belong to non-identical twins – sisters in their late 40s – whose matching asthmatic patterns remained the same over a seven year period. Further investigation may reveal that asthma’s hidden effects aren't completely random, but perhaps influenced by genetics or a shared environment – and may suggest ways of tailoring personalised medicine to treat the condition.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.