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Eur Respir J. 2014 Mar;43(3):735-44. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00110913. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Detection and severity grading of COPD exacerbations using the exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease tool (EXACT).

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University College London, London, UK.


Uncertainty exists over the ability of the exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease tool (EXACT) patient-reported outcome diary to quantify exacerbation severity and frequency. To clarify this, we investigated the ability of the EXACT to assess severity of exacerbations and examined the relationship between exacerbations diagnosed using London chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cohort diary cards, physician review and symptom-defined events using the EXACT. 58 patients enrolled in the London Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) cohort prospectively completed the EXACT during 128 cohort diary card-defined exacerbations between January 2010 and April 2012. Mean ± sd EXACT scores increased from 42.6 ± 8.6 at baseline to 48.0 ± 8.6 at exacerbation onset (p<0.001), and rose further to a maximum score of 54.1 ± 8.9. Maximum EXACT scores were significantly higher in treated than untreated events. Time taken for EXACT scores to return to baseline was significantly related to symptom recovery time as judged by London COPD cohort diary cards, and to peak expiratory flow rate recovery. ∼50% of both diary card-defined and healthcare utilisation exacerbations crossed the EXACT event threshold. However, only 27.9% of diary card-defined and 34.6% of healthcare utilisation exacerbations fully met the criteria for an EXACT event. Patients exhibited smaller rises in the EXACT score at exacerbation as baseline disease severity increased. The EXACT is an effective method of evaluating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation severity. However, concerns remain about the ability of the EXACT to accurately detect exacerbations.

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