Comparison of pulmonary function in patients with COPD, asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, and asthma with airflow limitation
Yoshiaki Kitaguchi, Masanori Yasuo, Masayuki Hanaoka
First Department of Internal Medicine, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan
Background: This study was conducted in order to investigate the differences in the respiratory physiology of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS), and asthma with airflow limitation (asthma FL+). Methods: The medical records for a series of all stable patients with persistent airflow limitation due to COPD, ACOS, or asthma were retrospectively reviewed and divided into the COPD group (n=118), the ACOS group (n=32), and the asthma FL+ group (n=27). All the patients underwent chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and pulmonary function tests, including respiratory impedance. Results: The low attenuation area score on chest HRCT was significantly higher in the COPD group than in the ACOS group (9.52±0.76 vs 5.09±1.16, P<0.01). The prevalence of bronchial wall thickening on chest HRCT was significantly higher in the asthma FL+ group than in the COPD group (55.6% vs 25.0%, P<0.01). In pulmonary function, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate were significantly higher in the asthma FL+ group than in the ACOS group (76.28%±2.54% predicted vs 63.43%±3.22% predicted, P<0.05 and 74.40%±3.16% predicted vs 61.08%±3.54% predicted, P<0.05, respectively). Although residual volume was significantly lower in the asthma FL+ group than in the COPD group (112.05%±4.34% predicted vs 137.38%±3.43% predicted, P<0.01) and the ACOS group (112.05%±4.34% predicted vs148.46%±6.25% predicted, P<0.01), there were no significant differences in functional residual capacity or total lung capacity. The increase in FEV1 in response to short-acting ß2-agonists was significantly greater in the ACOS group than in the COPD group (229±29 mL vs 72±10 mL, P<0.01) and the asthma FL+ group (229±29 mL vs 153±21 mL, P<0.05). Regarding respiratory impedance, resistance at 5 Hz and resistance at 20 Hz, which are oscillatory parameters of respiratory resistance, were significantly higher in the asthma FL+ group than in the COPD group at the whole-breath (4.29±0.30 cmH2O/L/s vs 3.41±0.14 cmH2O/L/s, P<0.01 and 3.50±0.24 cmH2O/L/s vs 2.68±0.10 cmH2O/L/s, P<0.01, respectively), expiratory, and inspiratory phases. Conclusion: Although persistent airflow limitation occurs in patients with COPD, ACOS, and asthma FL+, they may have distinct characteristics of the respiratory physiology and different responsiveness to bronchodilators.
Keywords: ACOS, FOT, respiratory impedance, MostGraph
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