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      Diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Serbia: an expert group position statement

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          In recent years, several national chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines have been issued. In Serbia, the burden of COPD is high and most of the patients are diagnosed at late stages. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) strategy is poorly implemented in real-life practice, as many patients are still prescribed inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)-containing regimens and slow-release theophylline. In this document, we propose an algorithm for treating COPD patients in Serbia based on national experts’ opinion, taking into account global recommendations and recent findings from clinical trials that are tailored according to local needs. We identified four major components of COPD treatment based on country specifics: active case finding and early diagnosis in high-risk population, therapeutic algorithm for initiation and escalation of therapy that is simple and easy to use in real-life practice, de-escalation of ICS in low-risk non-exacerbators, and individual choice of inhaler device based on patients' ability and preferences. With this approach we aim to facilitate implementation of the recommendation, initiate the treatment in early stages, improve cost-effectiveness, reduce possible side effects, and ensure efficient treatment.

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          Most cited references 52

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          Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Widespread application of pulmonary rehabilitation (also known as respiratory rehabilitation) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be preceded by demonstrable improvements in function (health-related quality of life, functional and maximal exercise capacity) attributable to the programmes. This review updates the review reported in 2006.
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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; number, NCT00563381.).
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              What the pulmonary specialist should know about the new inhalation therapies.

              A collaboration of multidisciplinary experts on the delivery of pharmaceutical aerosols was facilitated by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM), in order to draw up a consensus statement with clear, up-to-date recommendations that enable the pulmonary physician to choose the type of aerosol delivery device that is most suitable for their patient. The focus of the consensus statement is the patient-use aspect of the aerosol delivery devices that are currently available. The subject was divided into different topics, which were in turn assigned to at least two experts. The authors searched the literature according to their own strategies, with no central literature review being performed. To achieve consensus, draft reports and recommendations were reviewed and voted on by the entire panel. Specific recommendations for use of the devices can be found throughout the statement. Healthcare providers should ensure that their patients can and will use these devices correctly. This requires that the clinician: is aware of the devices that are currently available to deliver the prescribed drugs; knows the various techniques that are appropriate for each device; is able to evaluate the patient's inhalation technique to be sure they are using the devices properly; and ensures that the inhalation method is appropriate for each patient.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                02 September 2019
                : 14
                : 1993-2002
                [1 ]The Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina , Sremska Kamenica, Serbia
                [2 ]Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad , Novi Sad, Serbia
                [3 ]Clinic for Pulmonology, Clinical Centre Kragujevac , Kragujevac, Serbia
                [4 ]Faculty of Medicine, University of Kragujevac , Kragujevac, Serbia
                [5 ]Clinic for Pulmonology, Clinical Centre of Serbia , Belgrade, Serbia
                [6 ]Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade , Belgrade, Serbia
                [7 ]Clinic for Lung Diseases, Clinical Centre of Nis , Nis, Serbia
                [8 ]Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis , Nis, Serbia
                [9 ]Clinical Hospital Centre Zemun , Belgrade, Serbia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Marija VukojaCentre for Pathophysiology of Breathing and Sleep Medicine, The Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina , Put dr Goldmana 4 Street, Sremska Kamenica21204, SerbiaTel +381 21 480 5205Email
                © 2019 Vukoja 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 87, Pages: 10

                Respiratory medicine

                treatment, copd, guidelines


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