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Ann Thorac Med. 2013 Jan;8(1):8-13. doi: 10.4103/1817-1737.105711.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lost in translation: Why are the inhaled corticosteroids skeptics refusing to go?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

A survey of pulmonologists attending a clinical meeting of the Saudi Thoracic Society found that only 55% of responders considered that inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) had a positive effect on quality of life in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Why the divergence of opinion when all the guidelines have concluded that ICS improve quality of life and produce significant bronchodilation? ICS unequivocally reduce the rate of exacerbations by a modest 20%, but this does not extend to serious exacerbations requiring hospitalization. Bronchodilatation with ICS is now documented to be restricted to some phenotypes of COPD. Withdrawal of ICS trials reported a modest decline of FEV(1) (<5%) in half the studies and no decline in the other half. In spite of the guidelines statements, there is no concurrence on whether ICS improve the quality of life and there is no conclusive evidence that the combination of long-acting ß2 agonists (LABA) with ICS is superior to LABA alone in that regard. The explanation for these inconclusive results may be related to the fact that COPD consists of three different phenotypes with divergent responses to LABA and ICS. Therapy tailored to phenotype is the future for COPD.

KEYWORDS:

COPD; inhaled corticosteroids; phenotyping

PMID:
23441006
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3573567
Free PMC Article
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