ISSN (Print): 1573-398X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6387
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ISSN (Print): 1573-398X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6387
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Joseph Varon The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, TX USA
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9 Articles Ahead of Print are available electronically
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) remains the fourth leading cause of chronic morbidity and mortality at the
global level, and it represents a major problem for public health. The burden of COPD is likely to increase over the next several
years. Some authors have predicted that the prevalence of COPD will continuously increase, and that it will become the third
leading cause of death by 2020.
COPD is currently regarded as a multisystemic disease with a clinical presentation that often resembles other pulmonary
conditions like asthma, bronchiectasis, obstructive sleep apnea and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency .
Respiratory acidosis caused by acute exacerbation of COPD is a very complex and common situation in respiratory
medicine. In majority of cases, the presence of extrapulmonary comorbidities makes the exacerbations even more challenging
because there elevate the risk of mortality and length of stay at hospital of COPD patients .
The main pathogenic mechanisms of COPD are systemic inflammation and oxidative stress which also induce the
development of comorbidities. COPD increases the risk for multiple comorbidities and they, in turn, has a negative impact on
health related quality of life, thereby influencing mortality in COPD patients negatively. Proper assessment and therapy of
comorbidities may have a beneficial effect on the natural course and progression of COPD .
COPD is being increasingly recognized as a risk factor for the development of type2 diabetes through complex mechanisms
including inflammation, obesity, hypoxia and use of inhaled or systemic corticosteroids. In addition, hyperglycemia in diabetes
patients is linked to the adverse impact on lung physiology, and a possible increase in the risk of COPD .
The severity of COPD poses a great challenge in the surgical management of lung cancer with curative intent with
implications in disease recurrence, survival and postoperative course .
The clinical value of FENO in COPD is less evident in comparison with asthma, but some studies suggest that it may be a
new marker of the eosinophilic endotype. More importantly, mathematical methods allow investigation of the alveolar and
small airway production of NO which potentially better characterize inflammatory changes in anatomical sites, most affected
by COPD .
Triple inhaled therapy for COPD includes an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), a long-acting b2-agonist (LABA) and a longacting
muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) taken in combination. In recent studies, it was demonstrated that triple therapy is
significantly more effective in reducing the rate of moderate or severe COPD exacerbations compared to dual combinations of
LABA/LAMA or ICS/LABA and to monotherapy with LAMA .
The benefit of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in stable COPD remains controversial. However, there is increasingly more
evidence of NIV efficiency, especially high-flow NIV .
Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction techniques in COPD patients are targeted to reduce hyperinflation. The efficacy of
reversible valve implantation has been confirmed in several recent randomized controlled trials. It provides major clinical
benefit in the absence of interlobar collateral ventilation .
This hot-topic issue of Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews is an update on the diagnosis, assessment and management of
patients with COPD.
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