Alexa Nuñez 1 , 2 , Viviana Marras 3 , Matevz Harlander 4 , Evgeni Mekov 5 , Cristina Esquinas 1 , Matjaz Turel 4 , David Lestan 4 , Rosen Petkov 5 , Nikolay Yanev 5 , Pietro Pirina 3 , Silvia Negri 3 , Marc Miravitlles 1 , 2 , 6 , Miriam Barrecheguren 1
31 March 2020
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with increased lung and systemic inflammation. We aimed to identify associations between easy-to-obtain blood biomarkers and the frequency and severity of exacerbations.
Cross-sectional, multicentre study performed in four centres in Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Slovenia. Blood samples were obtained for blood cell count, C-reactive protein (CRP), alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) and fibrinogen analysis. The neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and eosinophil/basophil ratio (EBR) were calculated. Firstly, patients were divided into clinical phenotypes according to the Spanish guidelines of COPD, and secondly, patients were classified into 2 groups: non-exacerbators (≤1 ambulatory exacerbation in the previous year) and exacerbators (≥2 ambulatory exacerbations or 1 hospitalisation in the previous year). A multivariate stepwise logistic regression model was performed to identify laboratory parameters associated with exacerbators.
A total of 355 patients with a mean age 66 years (SD=8.9) were included, and 64% were male. The mean FEV1% (forced expiratory volume in the first second) was 55% (SD=20%), and the mean COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score was 15.6 (SD=7.9). One hundred ninety-six (55.2%) patients were classified in the non-exacerbator group, and 159 (44.8%) were exacerbators. Patients in the exacerbators group presented lower haemoglobin levels (p=0.019) and ERB (p= 0.023) but higher CRP levels (p=0.001). In the multivariate analysis, females, higher levels of CRP, lower FEV1% and low EBR were independently related to exacerbators.