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      Exacerbations of COPD

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          Abstract

          Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are defined as sustained worsening of a patient’s condition beyond normal day-to-day variations that is acute in onset, and that may also require a change in medication and/or hospitalization. Exacerbations have a significant and prolonged impact on health status and outcomes, and negative effects on pulmonary function. A significant proportion of exacerbations are unreported and therefore left untreated, leading to a poorer prognosis than those treated. COPD exacerbations are heterogeneous, and various phenotypes have been proposed which differ in biologic basis, prognosis, and response to therapy. Identification of biomarkers could enable phenotype-driven approaches for the management and prevention of exacerbations. For example, several biomarkers of inflammation can help to identify exacerbations most likely to respond to oral corticosteroids and antibiotics, and patients with a frequent exacerbator phenotype, for whom preventative treatment is appropriate. Reducing the frequency of exacerbations would have a beneficial impact on patient outcomes and prognosis. Preventative strategies include modification of risk factors, treatment of comorbid conditions, the use of bronchodilator therapy with long-acting β 2-agonists or long-acting muscarinic antagonists, and inhaled corticosteroids. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying COPD exacerbations will help to optimize use of the currently available and new interventions for preventing and treating exacerbations.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study of fluticasone propionate in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the ISOLDE trial.

          To determine the effect of long term inhaled corticosteroids on lung function, exacerbations, and health status in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Double blind, placebo controlled study. Eighteen UK hospitals. 751 men and women aged between 40 and 75 years with mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) 50% of predicted normal. Inhaled fluticasone propionate 500 microgram twice daily from a metered dose inhaler or identical placebo. Efficacy measures: rate of decline in FEV(1) after the bronchodilator and in health status, frequency of exacerbations, respiratory withdrawals. Safety measures: morning serum cortisol concentration, incidence of adverse events. There was no significant difference in the annual rate of decline in FEV(1 )(P=0.16). Mean FEV(1) after bronchodilator remained significantly higher throughout the study with fluticasone propionate compared with placebo (P<0.001). Median exacerbation rate was reduced by 25% from 1.32 a year on placebo to 0.99 a year on with fluticasone propionate (P=0.026). Health status deteriorated by 3.2 units a year on placebo and 2.0 units a year on fluticasone propionate (P=0.0043). Withdrawals because of respiratory disease not related to malignancy were higher in the placebo group (25% v 19%, P=0.034). Fluticasone propionate 500 microgram twice daily did not affect the rate of decline in FEV(1) but did produce a small increase in FEV(1). Patients on fluticasone propionate had fewer exacerbations and a slower decline in health status. These improvements in clinical outcomes support the use of this treatment in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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            Tiotropium versus salmeterol for the prevention of exacerbations of COPD.

            Treatment guidelines recommend the use of inhaled long-acting bronchodilators to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-very-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but do not specify whether a long-acting anticholinergic drug or a β(2)-agonist is the preferred agent. We investigated whether the anticholinergic drug tiotropium is superior to the β(2)-agonist salmeterol in preventing exacerbations of COPD. In a 1-year, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group trial, we compared the effect of treatment with 18 μg of tiotropium once daily with that of 50 μg of salmeterol twice daily on the incidence of moderate or severe exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-very-severe COPD and a history of exacerbations in the preceding year. A total of 7376 patients were randomly assigned to and treated with tiotropium (3707 patients) or salmeterol (3669 patients). Tiotropium, as compared with salmeterol, increased the time to the first exacerbation (187 days vs. 145 days), with a 17% reduction in risk (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77 to 0.90; P<0.001). Tiotropium also increased the time to the first severe exacerbation (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.85; P<0.001), reduced the annual number of moderate or severe exacerbations (0.64 vs. 0.72; rate ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.96; P=0.002), and reduced the annual number of severe exacerbations (0.09 vs. 0.13; rate ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.82; P<0.001). Overall, the incidence of serious adverse events and of adverse events leading to the discontinuation of treatment was similar in the two study groups. There were 64 deaths (1.7%) in the tiotropium group and 78 (2.1%) in the salmeterol group. These results show that, in patients with moderate-to-very-severe COPD, tiotropium is more effective than salmeterol in preventing exacerbations. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00563381.).
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              COPD exacerbations .1: Epidemiology.

              The epidemiology of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is reviewed with particular reference to the definition, frequency, time course, natural history and seasonality, and their relationship with decline in lung function, disease severity and mortality. The importance of distinguishing between recurrent and relapsed exacerbations is discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2016
                19 February 2016
                : 11
                : Spec Iss
                : 21-30
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Respiratory Medicine Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [2 ]Division of Clinical Science, St George’s, University of London, London, UK
                [3 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Cochin Hospital, University Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
                [4 ]Department of Medicine, Christian Albrecht University, Kiel, Germany
                [5 ]LungenClinic, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Grosshansdorf, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Paul W Jones Division of Clinical Science, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK, Tel +44 20 8725 5371, Fax +44 20 8725 5955, Email pjones@ 123456sgul.ac.uk
                Article
                copd-11-021
                10.2147/COPD.S85978
                4764047
                26937187
                © 2016 Pavord et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Respiratory medicine

                bronchodilator, biomarker, phenotype, exacerbation, copd

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