29 November 2018
Exacerbations of COPD (ECOPDs) are important events in the course of COPD, accelerating the rate of decline in lung function and increasing the mortality risk. A growing body of evidence suggests the significance of the “frequent exacerbator” phenotype. This phenotype seems to be associated with a more severe airflow limitation, symptoms, health-related quality of life impairment, and higher mortality. However, there is no described biomarker that would help to identify this group of patients.
Patients with COPD in “D” GOLD category were monitored for 3 years according to events of ECOPD. Serum samples were collected from the patients. Circulating level of plasma soluble receptor for advanced glycation end-products (sRAGE) was measured using commercially available high sensitivity kits. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to assess the usefulness of sRAGE to identify frequent exacerbator phenotype. Log-rank test was used in the analysis of time to the subsequent exacerbation. Pearson ( R) or Spearman’s rank ( R S) correlation coefficients were used for correlation analysis.
Nineteen patients were enrolled. The area under the ROC curve (AUROC) for sRAGE for the identification of frequent exacerbator phenotype was 0.81. Analysis identified the cutoff point as 850.407 pg/mL, characterized by a sensitivity of 0.80 (95% CI: 0.28–1.0) and specificity of 0.93 (95% CI: 0.66–1.0). Additionally, in the group with sRAGE ≤850.407 pg/mL, we observed significantly shorter time to the subsequent exacerbation: median of 32 vs 105.5 days ( P=0.03). Correlation analysis revealed significant negative correlation between sRAGE and the number of exacerbations requiring hospitalization during the whole time of follow-up ( R S=−0.53; P=0.02) and significant positive correlation with FEV 1 expressed as the percentage of reference value ( R=0.6; P=0.006).