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Concept: Emphysema


Background Long-term treatment with supplemental oxygen has unknown efficacy in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and resting or exercise-induced moderate desaturation. Methods We originally designed the trial to test whether long-term treatment with supplemental oxygen would result in a longer time to death than no use of supplemental oxygen among patients who had stable COPD with moderate resting desaturation (oxyhemoglobin saturation as measured by pulse oximetry [Spo2], 89 to 93%). After 7 months and the randomization of 34 patients, the trial was redesigned to also include patients who had stable COPD with moderate exercise-induced desaturation (during the 6-minute walk test, Spo2 ≥80% for ≥5 minutes and <90% for ≥10 seconds) and to incorporate the time to the first hospitalization for any cause into the new composite primary outcome. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive long-term supplemental oxygen (supplemental-oxygen group) or no long-term supplemental oxygen (no-supplemental-oxygen group). In the supplemental-oxygen group, patients with resting desaturation were prescribed 24-hour oxygen, and those with desaturation only during exercise were prescribed oxygen during exercise and sleep. The trial-group assignment was not masked. Results A total of 738 patients at 42 centers were followed for 1 to 6 years. In a time-to-event analysis, we found no significant difference between the supplemental-oxygen group and the no-supplemental-oxygen group in the time to death or first hospitalization (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 1.12; P=0.52), nor in the rates of all hospitalizations (rate ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.13), COPD exacerbations (rate ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.19), and COPD-related hospitalizations (rate ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.17). We found no consistent between-group differences in measures of quality of life, lung function, and the distance walked in 6 minutes. Conclusions In patients with stable COPD and resting or exercise-induced moderate desaturation, the prescription of long-term supplemental oxygen did not result in a longer time to death or first hospitalization than no long-term supplemental oxygen, nor did it provide sustained benefit with regard to any of the other measured outcomes. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; LOTT number, NCT00692198 .).

Concepts: Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Pulse oximetry, Oxygen therapy


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) present with a variety of symptoms that significantly impair health-related quality of life. Despite this, COPD treatment and its management are mainly based on lung function assessments. There is increasing evidence that conventional lung function measures alone do not correlate well with COPD symptoms and their associated impact on patients' everyday lives. Instead, symptoms should be assessed routinely, preferably by using patient-centered questionnaires that provide a more accurate guide to the actual burden of COPD. Numerous questionnaires have been developed in an attempt to find a simple and reliable tool to use in everyday clinical practice. In this paper, we review three such patient-reported questionnaires recommended by the latest Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines, ie, the modified Medical Research Council questionnaire, the clinical COPD questionnaire, and the COPD Assessment Test, as well as other symptom-specific questionnaires that are currently being developed.

Concepts: Medicine, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Obstructive lung disease


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease which may be complicated by development of co-morbidities including metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders commonly associated with this disease contribute to lung function impairment and mortality. Systemic inflammation appears to be a major factor linking COPD to metabolic alterations. Adipose tissue seems to interfere with systemic inflammation in COPD patients by producing a large number of proteins, known as “adipokines”, involved in various processes such as metabolism, immunity and inflammation. There is evidence that adiponectin is an important modulator of inflammatory processes implicated in airway pathophysiology. Increased serum levels of adiponectin and expression of its receptors on lung tissues of COPD patients have recently highlighted the importance of the adiponectin pathway in this disease. Further, in vitro studies have demonstrated an anti-inflammatory activity for this adipokine at the level of lung epithelium. This review focuses on mechanisms by which adiponectin is implicated in linking COPD with metabolic disorders.

Concepts: Inflammation, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Adipose tissue, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic airway inflammation and/or airflow limitation due to pulmonary emphysema. Chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, and bronchial asthma may all be associated with airflow limitation; therefore, exacerbation of asthma may be associated with the pathophysiology of COPD. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that the exacerbation of asthma, namely virus-induced asthma, may be associated with a wide variety of respiratory viruses. COPD and asthma have different underlying pathophysiological processes and thus require individual therapies. Exacerbation of both COPD and asthma, which are basically defined and diagnosed by clinical symptoms, is associated with a rapid decline in lung function and increased mortality. Similar pathogens, including human rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, and coronavirus, are also frequently detected during exacerbation of asthma and/or COPD. Immune response to respiratory viral infections, which may be related to the severity of exacerbation in each disease, varies in patients with both COPD and asthma. In this regard, it is crucial to recognize and understand both the similarities and differences of clinical features in patients with COPD and/or asthma associated with respiratory viral infections, especially in the exacerbative stage. In relation to definition, epidemiology, and pathophysiology, this review aims to summarize current knowledge concerning exacerbation of both COPD and asthma by focusing on the clinical significance of associated respiratory virus infections.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Common cold


In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), two major pathological changes that occur are the loss of alveolar structure and airspace enlargement. To treat COPD, it is crucial to repair damaged lung tissue and regenerate the lost alveoli. Type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECII) play a vital role in maintaining lung tissue repair, and amniotic fluid-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AFMSCs) possess the characteristics of regular mesenchymal stromal cells. However, it remains untested whether transplantation of rat AFMSCs (rAFMSCs) might alleviate lung injury caused by emphysema by increasing the expression of surfactant protein (SP)A and SPC and inhibiting AECII apoptosis.

Concepts: Cancer, Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Mesenchymal stem cell, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency


Swyer-James-MacLeod syndrome (SJMS) is a rare syndrome of acute obliterative bronchiolitis following an early childhood infective insult to the lungs. This causes arrest of alveolarization, affecting lung development with hypoplasia of the ipsilateral pulmonary artery and results in a characteristic radiological pattern, such as a unilateral hyperlucent lung with expiratory air-trapping and pruned-tree appearance on pulmonary angiogram. The clinical presentation is either recurrent chest infections, exertional dyspnoea or it may be an incidental finding. Management involves early prevention of infection, airway clearance, and regular vaccinations. We describe two adult patients with SJMS: A 51-year-old female of Indian ethnicity presenting with recurrent haemoptysis and a 40-year-old Indigenous male presenting acutely with sepsis and background history of recurrent chest infections. These cases highlight the importance of being aware of and accurately recognizing this rare condition, to be able to manage patients appropriately and avoid incorrect and unnecessary treatment.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Pneumonia, Heart, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Emphysema, Bronchitis


Little is known about the long-term health effects of ambient ultrafine particles (<0.1 μm) (UFPs) including their association with respiratory disease incidence. In this study, we examined the relationship between long-term exposure to ambient UFPs and the incidence of lung cancer, adult-onset asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung cancer, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema


Background Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an eosinophilic phenotype may benefit from treatment with mepolizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against interleukin-5. Methods We performed two phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trials comparing mepolizumab (100 mg in METREX, 100 or 300 mg in METREO) with placebo, given as a subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks for 52 weeks in patients with COPD who had a history of moderate or severe exacerbations while taking inhaled glucocorticoid-based triple maintenance therapy. In METREX, unselected patients in the modified intention-to-treat population with an eosinophilic phenotype were stratified according to blood eosinophil count (≥150 per cubic millimeter at screening or ≥300 per cubic millimeter during the previous year). In METREO, all patients had a blood eosinophil count of at least 150 per cubic millimeter at screening or at least 300 per cubic millimeter during the previous year. The primary end point was the annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations. Safety was also assessed. Results In METREX, the mean annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations in the modified intention-to-treat population with an eosinophilic phenotype (462 patients) was 1.40 per year in the mepolizumab group versus 1.71 per year in the placebo group (rate ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.98; adjusted P=0.04); no significant between-group differences were found in the overall modified intention-to-treat population (836 patients) (rate ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.12; adjusted P>0.99). In METREO, the mean annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was 1.19 per year in the 100-mg mepolizumab group, 1.27 per year in the 300-mg mepolizumab group, and 1.49 per year in the placebo group. The rate ratios for exacerbations in the 100-mg and 300-mg mepolizumab groups versus the placebo group were 0.80 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.98; adjusted P=0.07) and 0.86 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.05; adjusted P=0.14), respectively. A greater effect of mepolizumab, as compared with placebo, on the annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was found among patients with higher blood eosinophil counts at screening. The safety profile of mepolizumab was similar to that of placebo. Conclusions Mepolizumab at a dose of 100 mg was associated with a lower annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations than placebo among patients with COPD and an eosinophilic phenotype. This finding suggests that eosinophilic airway inflammation contributes to COPD exacerbations. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; METREX and METREO numbers, NCT02105948 and NCT02105961 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Asthma, Medical terms, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Placebo, Pulmonary hypertension


The use of electronic (e)-cigarettes is increasing rapidly, but their lung health effects are not established. Clinical studies examining the potential long-term impact of e-cigarette use on lung health will take decades. To address this gap in knowledge, this study investigated the effects of exposure to aerosolised nicotine-free and nicotine-containing e-cigarette fluid on mouse lungs and normal human airway epithelial cells.

Concepts: Asthma, Lung, Epithelium, Smoking, Cigarette, Emphysema


Changes in microbial community composition in the lung of patients suffering from moderate to severe COPD have been well documented. However, knowledge about specific microbiome structures in the human lung associated with CT defined abnormalities is limited.

Concepts: Medicine, Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Pulmonary hypertension, Human lung