Chronic bronchitis (CB), emphysematous (EM) and asthma–chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) overlap syndrome (ACOS) phenotypes in COPD are well recognized. This study aimed to investigate distinguishing characteristics of these phenotypes in COPD patients with frequent exacerbations (FE).
A retrospective study was carried out. COPD patients with acute exacerbations were consecutively reviewed from November 2015 to October 2016. Patients were divided into FE and infrequent exacerbations (iFE) subgroups.
A total of 142 eligible COPD subjects were reviewed. In the CB phenotype subgroup, age, body mass index, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1) % predicted, COPD assessment test (CAT), modified Medical Research Council breathlessness measurement (mMRC) dyspnea scale, emphysema scores and arterial carbon dioxide pressure (PaCO 2) were significantly different in subjects with FE when compared to those in subjects with iFE of CB. In the EM phenotype subgroup, age, CAT, mMRC scores and history of COPD were different in subjects with FE when compared to those in CB subjects with iFE. Multivariate analysis indicated that FEV 1% predicted (odds ratio [OR] =0.90, P=0.04) and PaCO 2 (OR =1.22, P=0.02) were independent risk factors for FE in COPD with CB phenotype, and CAT (OR =2.601, P=0.001) was the independent risk factor for FE in COPD with EM phenotype. No significant differences in characteristics were observed in ACOS phenotype subgroups with FE or iFE.