Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dual LABA/LAMA bronchodilators in COPD: why? when? and how?

Dual LABA/LAMA bronchodilators in COPD: why? when? and how?
Still many questions in our real everyday practice!
Read Editorial in Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine by great Italian team conducted by professor Mario Cazzola. 
LABA/LAMA combinations induce bronchorelaxant synergistic interaction when the drugs mixture is well-balanced and administered at low isoeffective concentrations.
The overall approach of Drug Companies has been to combine in a FDC a LABA and a LAMA at the same doses for which the monocomponents were previously approved. Indeed, this practice does not permit to optimize the synergy in the final
LABA/LAMA FDCs. Conversely, dose-finding studies are required to identify the correct dose-ratio and establish the minimal doses for each monocomponent in the FDC leading to the greater synergism with regard to the improvement in lung
function, symptoms, and exacerbations.
Furthermore, although LABA/LAMA FDCs are characterized by an acceptable safety profile, the cardiovascular toxicity of LABAs and LAMAs may overlap. Thus, postmarketing surveillance and observational studies are needed to assess the real risk of rare, but potentially serious, cardiovascular adverse events associated with the dual bronchodilation therapy in COPD patients.
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Saturday, February 17, 2018

COPD in 2018: syndrome or disease - first steps to new classification

New article from ERJ Open Research by Celli and Agusti is dedicated to hot topic in COPD: new classification with absolutely fresh approach!
Due to well-conducted epidemiological studies and advances in genetics, molecular biology, translational research, the advent of computed tomography of the lungs and bioinformatics, the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a single entity caused by susceptibility to cigarette smoke is no longer tenable. Furthermore, the once-accepted concept that COPD results from a rapid and progressive loss of lung function over time is not true for a sizeable proportion of adults with the disease. Now we know that some genetic predisposition and/or different environmental interactions (nutritional, infectious, pollution and immunological) may negatively modulate post-natal lung development and lead to poorly reversible airflow limitation later in life, consistent with COPD.
 http://openres.ersjournals.com/content/4/1/00132-2017
We believe it is time to rethink the taxonomy of this disease based on the evidence at hand. To do so, we have followed the principles outlined in the 1980s by J.D. Scadding who proposed that diseases can be defined by four key characteristics: 1) clinical description (syndrome), 2) disorder of structure (morbid anatomy), 3) disorder of function (pathophysiology) and 4) causation (aetiology). 
http://openres.ersjournals.com/content/4/1/00132-2017

Here, we propose a pragmatic approach to the taxonomy of COPD based on different processes that result in a similar syndromic presentation. It can accommodate changes over time, as the pathobiology that may lead to COPD expands. We hope that stakeholders in the field may find it useful to better define the patients now boxed into one single entity, so that specific studies can be designed and conducted for each type of COPDs.
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Assessment of Health-related Quality of Life in Different Phenotypes of COPD (article from 2017 Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews)

Introduction: Phenotypic characterization of COPD subjects may rely on clinical and physiological manifestations, imaging, assessment of patient-related outcomes (health related quality of life), COPD comorbidities, COPD exacerbations and systemic inflammation. The aim of the study was to evaluate and to analyze the health-related quality of life (HRQL) in COPD patients classified into different phenotypes.
Methods: 395 consecutive COPD patients were enrolled into the study. Spirometric data were analyzed (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC). HRQL was assessed by the St. George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ).
Results: The cohort consisted of 395 COPD patients with mean age 62.7 ± 9.4 years, 79 % were males. Patients were divided in 4 groups according to phenotypes: 44% of the patients were nonexacerbators, 35% frequent exacerbators with chronic bronchitis (CB), 12% frequent exacerbators without CB, and 8% were patients with asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS). There were statistically significant differences in HRQL and lung function between COPD phenotypes. Frequent exacerbators with chronic CB and without CB had the similar total SGRQ scores, CCQ scores and CAT, and these scores were worse in comparison with HRQL of non-exacerbators and patients with ACOS.
Conclusion: Frequent exacerbators with chronic CB and without CB have a more severe deterioration of the HRQL and worse lung function then non-exacerbators and patients with ACOS.
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Pulmonary rehabilitation and cardiovascular risk in COPD: a systematic review (Free Full text from 2017 COPD Research and Practice)

Introduction
Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is an effective intervention in COPD however the value of PR in reducing cardiovascular risk in COPD (measured by aortic pulse wave velocity, PWV) is unclear and there is no existing systematic review.

Objectives
To conduct a systematic review examining whether PR results in alteration of CV risk in COPD (as measured by aPWV).
Methods
An electronic systematic search concordant with PRISMA guidelines was conducted. The search was complete to the 27th of May 2017. Six databases were examined: Embase, Medline, AMED, Web of Science, Cochrane clinical trials, and CINAHL.
Results
This study generated 767 initial matches, which were filtered using inclusion/exclusion criteria. Three studies (201 COPD participants) were included. Our analysis does not confirm that PR affects aPWV but studies were heterogeneous.
Conclusion
There is currently insufficient information on the effect of PR on reducing CV risk in COPD. Therefore controversy remains, with the possibility that there might be some subjects who benefit and others who might experience an increase in CV risk in response to PR. These results will be of value to those interested in gaining a better understanding of the benefits of PR on CV risk in COPD. 
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Adherence to COPD treatment: Myth and reality (article from 2017 Respiratory Medicine)

Great Respiratory article from our Italian Friends!!! 

Highlights 

  • The level of medication adherence in COPD patients is very low

  • Approaches to assess adherence of COPD are burdened with important limitations. 

  • Patient views on therapy effectiveness are powerful predictors of reported adherence. 

  • The physician can affect adherence in COPD with his/her prescription. 

  • In COPD, adherence to inhalation medication is device-related.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954611117301737

COPD is a chronic disease in which effective management requires long-term adherence to pharmacotherapies but the level of adhesion to the prescribed medications is very low and this has a negative influence on outcomes. There are several approaches to detect non-adherence, such as pharmacy refill methods, electronic monitoring, and self-report measures, but they are all burdened with important limitations. Medication adherence in COPD is multifactorial and is affected by patients (health beliefs, cognitive abilities, self-efficacy, comorbidities, psychological profile, conscientiousness), physicians (method of administration, dosing regimen, polypharmacy, side effects), and society (patient-prescriber relationship, social support, access to medication, device training, follow-up). Patient-health care professional communication, especially that between patient and physician or pharmacist, is central to optimizing patient adherence. However, the most realistic approach is to keep in mind that non-adherence is always possible, indeed, probable.
Article is HERE!!! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

To sleep, or not to sleep – that is the question, for polysomnography (Free full text from Breathe)

As the English dramatist Thomas Dekker wrote, “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”. One of the most frequently sleep-related disorders (SRD) is obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS). OSAS is a relatively “young” disease and at the same time, one of the most important respiratory conditions discovered in the last 50 years due to its incidence, prevalence, health-related impact on the patient’s life and economic burden.
http://breathe.ersjournals.com/content/13/2/137

Nevertheless, 50 years is still a large amount of time and our understanding of OSAS has grown significantly over these years. The first reports discussed how to diagnose this rare condition. Later, it was demonstrated that the disease itself is not that rare and is extremely underdiagnosed. This was only the tip of the iceberg, since it was furthermore discovered that OSAS is linked to multiple comorbidities and is a major healthcare problem. Now, we are moving further forward, and discussing more efficient ways to diagnose and manage this condition.
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ashtma-Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overlap syndrome (ACOS): current evidence and future research directions (Free Full text from 2017 COPD Research and Practice)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma are the most frequent chronic respiratory diseases that affect the general population. For a long period of time these two conditions were considered to be separate diseases. However, it became evident that some patients share symptoms and clinical findings from both diseases. 
https://copdrp.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40749-017-0025-x
These patients are considered to represent a distinct phenotype, called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS). However, since approximately the one third of the asthmatics smoke the ACOS may primarily define those patients. This is a relatively newly defined clinical syndrome whose underlying mechanisms and most appropriate management remain to be confirmed. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on this syndrome, aiming to update clinicians and help their daily practice.
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