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      Enhancing our understanding of the time course of acute exacerbations of COPD managed on an outpatient basis

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          Acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) are associated with pulmonary/systemic changes; however, quantification of those changes during AECOPD managed on an outpatient basis and factors influencing recovery are lacking. This study aimed to characterize patients’ changes during AECOPD and identify factors influencing their recovery.


          Body mass index, the modified British Medical Research Council questionnaire, number of exacerbations in the previous year, and the Charlson comorbidity index (independent variables) were collected within 24–48 hours of hospital presentation (T0). Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO 2), forced expiratory volume in one second, percentage predicted (FEV 1% predicted), maximum inspiratory pressure, quadriceps muscle strength, 5 times sit-to-stand, and COPD assessment test (CAT) (dependent variables) were collected at T0 and approximately at days 8 (T1), 15 (T2), and 45 (T3) after T0.


          A total of 44 outpatients with AECOPD (31♂; 68.2±9.1 years; 51.1±20.3 FEV 1% predicted) were enrolled. All variables improved overtime ( P<0.05); however, at day 8, only SpO 2 and CAT ( P≤0.001) showed significant improvements. Changes in FEV 1% predicted and SpO 2 were not influenced by any independent measure, while changes in other outcome measures were influenced by at least one of the independent measures. Independently of the time of data collection, being underweight or overweight and having increased dyspnea, previous exacerbations, and severe comorbidities negatively affected patients’ outcomes.


          FEV 1% predicted and SpO 2 were not influenced by any independent measure and, thus, seem to be robust measures to follow-up outpatients with AECOPD. No single indicator was able to predict patients’ recovery for all measures; thus, a comprehensive assessment at the onset of the AECOPD is required to personalize interventions.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Muscle force during an acute exacerbation in hospitalised patients with COPD and its relationship with CXCL8 and IGF-I.

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often associated with peripheral muscle weakness, which is caused by several factors. Acute exacerbations may contribute, but their impact on muscle force remains unclear. Correlations between peripheral muscle force and inflammatory and anabolic markers have never been studied in COPD. The effect of an acute exacerbation on quadriceps peak torque (QPT) was therefore studied in hospitalised patients, and the aforementioned correlations were examined in hospitalised and in stable patients. Lung function, respiratory and peripheral muscle force, and inflammatory and anabolic markers were assessed in hospitalised patients on days 3 and 8 of the hospital admission and 90 days later. The results on day 3 (n=34) were compared with those in clinically stable outpatients (n=13) and sedentary healthy elderly subjects (n=10). Hospitalised patients had lowest mean (SD) QPT (66 (22)% predicted) and highest median (IQR) levels of systemic interleukin-8 (CXCL8, 6.1 (4.5 to 8.3) pg/ml). Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) tended to be higher in healthy elderly subjects (p=0.09). QPT declined between days 3 and 8 in hospital (mean -5% predicted (95% CI -22 to 8)) and partially recovered 90 days after admission to hospital (mean 6% predicted (95% CI -1 to 23)). QPT was negatively correlated with CXCL8 and positively correlated with IGF-I and lung transfer factor in hospitalised and in stable patients. Peripheral muscle weakness is enhanced during an acute exacerbation of COPD. CXCL8 and IGF-I may be involved in the development of peripheral muscle weakness in hospitalised and in stable patients with COPD.
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            Lung microbiome dynamics in COPD exacerbations.

            Increasing evidence suggests that the lung microbiome plays an important role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) severity. However, the dynamics of the lung microbiome during COPD exacerbations and its potential role in disease aetiology remain poorly understood.We completed a longitudinal 16S ribosomal RNA survey of the lung microbiome on 476 sputum samples collected from 87 subjects with COPD at four visits defined as stable state, exacerbation, 2 weeks post-therapy and 6 weeks recovery.Our analysis revealed a dynamic lung microbiota where changes appeared to be associated with exacerbation events and indicative of specific exacerbation phenotypes. Antibiotic and steroid treatments appear to have differential effects on the lung microbiome. We depict a microbial interaction network for the lung microbiome and suggest that perturbation of a few bacterial operational taxonomic units, in particular Haemophilus spp., could greatly impact the overall microbial community structure. Furthermore, several serum and sputum biomarkers, in particular sputum interleukin-8, appear to be highly correlated with the structure and diversity of the microbiome.Our study furthers the understanding of lung microbiome dynamics in COPD patients and highlights its potential as a biomarker, and possibly a target, for future respiratory therapeutics.
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              Predictors of mortality in hospitalized adults with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              There is a need to identify clinically meaningful predictors of mortality following hospitalized COPD exacerbation. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature to identify clinically important factors that predict mortality after hospitalization for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eligible studies considered adults admitted to hospital with COPD exacerbation. Two authors independently abstracted data. Odds ratios were then calculated by comparing the prevalence of each predictor in survivors versus nonsurvivors. For continuous variables, mean differences were pooled by the inverse of their variance, using a random effects model. There were 37 studies included (189,772 study subjects) with risk of death ranging from 3.6% for studies considering short-term mortality, 31.0% for long-term mortality (up to 2 yr after hospitalization), and 29.0% for studies that considered solely intensive care unit (ICU)-admitted study subjects. Twelve prognostic factors (age, male sex, low body mass index, cardiac failure, chronic renal failure, confusion, long-term oxygen therapy, lower limb edema, Global Initiative for Chronic Lung Disease criteria stage 4, cor pulmonale, acidemia, and elevated plasma troponin level) were significantly associated with increased short-term mortality. Nine prognostic factors (age, low body mass index, cardiac failure, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, malignancy, FEV1, long-term oxygen therapy, and PaO2 on admission) were significantly associated with long-term mortality. Three factors (age, low Glasgow Coma Scale score, and pH) were significantly associated with increased risk of mortality in ICU-admitted study subjects. Different factors correlate with mortality from COPD exacerbation in the short term, long term, and after ICU admission. These parameters may be useful to develop tools for prediction of outcome in clinical practice.

                Author and article information

                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
                20 November 2018
                : 13
                : 3759-3766
                [1 ]Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
                [2 ]Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory Lab3R, School of Health Sciences, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, amarques@
                [3 ]Institute for Biomedicine, iBiMED, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, amarques@
                [4 ]Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, CIDMA, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Alda Marques, Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Lab3R, School of Health Sciences, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Agras do Crasto, Edifício 30, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal, Tel +351 234 37 2462, Email amarques@
                © 2018 Oliveira et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                outpatients, outcome measures, management, copd exacerbations


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