LACS stands for Large Airway Collapse with Symptoms. This condition is characterised by a floppiness of the large airways – the trachea and bronchi – and a tendency for them to collapse due to a loss of cartilage. The symptoms may include breathlessness, wheeze and cough. Patients with this condition may initially be diagnosed with asthma as the symptoms are similar.
A related condition is Relapsing Polychondritis, in which the cartilage is affected by inflammation.
A number of medical specialists have come together to form a professional group with the aim of developing treatment and providing management strategies for patients who have collapsed central airways.
The aim of the group is to provide the opportunity for patients suffering with conditions which affect the large central airways – for example the trachea and bronchial tubes – to receive an accurate and prompt diagnosis so the condition can be successfully treated and managed. At the moment, this condition is not widely understood by the medical profession, and thus, standardisation of definitions is needed, as is agreeing the criteria.
Founding members of the group include:
Dr James Hull - Consultant Physician for Respiratory Medicine at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals
Dr Rob Niven - Clinical Lead for the Asthma Service at University Hospital of South Manchester
Professor Martin Birchall - Consultant in ENT Surgery at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital