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      Statement on Standards for the Diagnosis and Care of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma

      American Review of Respiratory Disease

      American Thoracic Society

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          Abstract

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are the major causes of pulmonary disability in the United States, with at least 10 million Americans suffering form COPD and up to 5% of the population afflicted with asthma. Over the past 20 years, major strides have been made in our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders, although there are still large gaps in our knowledge. While a number of position papers and statements have been promulgated by the American Thoracic Society concerning various aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of COPD and asthma, it was felt that a review of the overall topic was timely. This statement represents the combined efforts of a Task Group appointed by the Scientific Assemble of Clinical Problems of the American Thoracic Society to accomplish this task. Clearly, we could not cover every aspect of this broad topic nor even provide a detailed review of those areas addressed. We elected instead to concentrate on clinically relevant topics and to provide sufficient data to be useful as a guide as well as to include selected, but in no was exhaustive, references. The first two chapters define the entities and set forth recommendations for diagnosis, hospital admission, and discharge. The remaining four chapters critically review the various facets of therapy. We have noted controversial areas and those were conclusive experimental data are not yet available. In these situations, the committee often decided to take a position on one side or the other based upon the best available information.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Chronic cough as the sole presenting manifestation of bronchial asthma.

          Six patients with chronic cough, without history of dyspnea or wheezing, had normal base-line spirometry but hyper-reactive airways, as demonstrated with methacholine. Maintenance therapy with bronchodilators promptly eliminated the cough in all patients. Three to 12 months later therapy was discontinued for three days, cough returned, and detailed pulmonary-function studies were carried out. Again, base-line values were normal, but after methacholine one-second forced expiratory volume decreased an average of 40 per cent in the patients as compared to 30 per cent in normal controls (P less than 0.001). The point of identical flow was increased by methacholine to 43.5 per cent of vital capacity in the patients, as compared to 6 per cent in normal controls (P less than 0.001), and the alveolar plateau was 4.8 deltaN2 per liter, as compared to 1.4 in normal controls (P less than 0.01). Specific airway conductance was lowered in patients and controls, but the post-methacholine value was significantly lower in the patients. On the basis of their persistently hyper-reactive airways, inducible diffuse airway bronchoconstriction and excellent response to bronchodilator therapy, these patients appear to have a variant form of asthma in which the only presenting symptom is cough.
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            Randomised controlled trial of nicotine chewing-gum.

            The effectiveness of 2 mg nicotine chewing-gum as an aid to stopping smoking was compared with a placebo containing 1 mg nicotine, but unbuffered, in a double-blind randomised trial. Of 58 subjects given the active gum, 27 (47%) were not smoking at one-year follow-up compared with 12 (21%) of the 58 subjects treated with placebo (p less than 0.025). By the most stringent criterion of outcome, 18 (31%) subjects in the active treatment group and eight (14%) in the placebo group had not smoked at all from the start of treatment to follow-up at one year (p less than 0.05). Subjects receiving the active gum experienced less severe withdrawal symptoms and rated their gum as more helpful than did the placebo group. Minor side effects were common but only gastric symptoms were more frequent with the active gum. Subjects receiving active gum used it for longer than those receiving placebo but most stopped using it within six months and only four (7%) developed longer-term dependence. The number of gums used daily correlated significantly with pretreatment blood nicotine concentrations in the active treatment group and with pretreatment cigarette consumption in the placebo group. A lower pretreatment blood nicotine value was the best predictor of success at one year (p less than 0.001) but there was no significant relation to cigarette consumption, sex, and social class. The results clearly confirm the usefulness of nicotine chewing-gum as an aid to stopping smoking and imply a definite role for nicotine in cigarette dependence and withdrawal. Successful use of the gum requires careful attention to subjects' expectations and clear instructions on how to use it.
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              Disodium cromoglycate (FPL 670) ('Intal'): a specific inhibitor of reaginic antibody-antigen mechanisms.

               Tom Cox (1967)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Review of Respiratory Disease
                Am Rev Respir Dis
                American Thoracic Society
                0003-0805
                July 1987
                July 1987
                : 136
                : 1
                : 225-244
                Article
                10.1164/ajrccm/136.1.225
                3605835
                © 1987

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