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CSAN Guiding Principles


The Canadian Severe Asthma Network (CSAN) is a national program with the goal of improving the care of patients with severe asthma (SA) managed within the Canadian health care environment.


CSAN is an independent organization with affiliations to the Canadian Lung Association, AllerGen, and the Canadian Respiratory Clinical Research Consortium.


Identified Centers will have patients who will be cared for by trained asthma subspecialists.Specific standard operating protocols (clinical SOPs) for patient management will be used, that are translatable between regions, to assure quality of care. SA Centers of Excellence (SA Centers) have comprehensive management structures to provide inter-disciplinary care with a patient-centered approach to management. In the context of these SA Centers, clinical and translational research that is related to SA patient care and management in the current Canadian health care environment. It will include research into current health service structures as well as projects related to improving the understanding of the biology and pathophysiology of SA patients in Canada.


The Center PIís have been identified through their expertise in asthma and direct involvement in asthma management. Improving patient-centered care structures for SA, the most difficult-to-control 5-10% of asthma patients, will hopefully lessen the impact of asthma currently within our Canadian health care system (SA accounts for 50-60% cost of asthma).These Centers developed as part of CSAN will have strong partnerships with their respective health service delivery structures for well-functioning hospital-based clinics and pulmonary function / physiology laboratories.


Our Center Directors will work closely with their respective health region administrators and policy decision makers at a national level. This will also include strong partnerships with provincial lung associations and the asthma society. Bringing together a patient pool of well-characterized subjects that are themselves interested in participating in the CSAN initiative is critical for this to occur (CSAN patient support and advocacy group). The governing body of CSAN is made up of a core committee along with a Scientific and Medical Advisory Panel that includes all Center PIs directly involved with SA patient care. It includes liaisons with international SA Networks (US Severe Asthma Research Program, Australian SA Network). Participation in tele/video conference sessions as well s a yearly meeting will be required of all Center PIs.


Facilities - Centers will need to have appropriate facilities for the comprehensive evaluation of severe asthma (SA) patients. This includes multi-modality physiology laboratories, bronchoscopy suites with expertise available in this area, capacity for (or plan to develop capacity for) inflammatory monitoring through sputum analysis, general laboratory facilities including access to appropriate immunologic assays and diagnostic imaging facilities.


All Centers will have (or develop) access, through their respective health regions, to inflammometry through sputum analysis (for monitoring sputum cell counts). All Centers will be required to participate in regular quality control assessments for the labs performing sputum cell counts will be required on at least a once yearly basis (slide sharing, protocol reviews).


CSAN will facilitate through our health network efficient dissemination related to new findings from research that will impact patient care.


Contact Us:


Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam, Associate Professor, University of Alberta

Phone: 780-492-6962



Current host institution (coordinating center):


University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta)


Core Management Committee:


Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam (Edmonton, Alberta),

Dr. Louis-Philippe Boulet (Quebec City, QC),

Dr. Diane Lougheed (Kingston, ONT),

Dr. Clare Ramsey (Winnipeg, MB),

Dr. Mark Fitzgerald (Vancouver, BC),

Ms. Anne Van Dam (Canadian Lung Association).



Updated on: March 21, 2014