Systemic manifestations of COPD.
ABSTRACT COPD is characterized by a poorly reversible airflow limitation resulting from chronic inflammation, mainly due to tobacco exposure. Over the past few years, the understanding of COPD has evolved from it being a disease affecting the lungs to it being a complex, heterogeneous, and generalized disorder in an aging population. Extrapulmonary comorbidities significantly complicate the management and influence the prognosis of patients with COPD. Although certain comorbidities like cardiovascular diseases share some risk factors with COPD, such as cigarette smoking, other frequently observed comorbidities, including musculoskeletal wasting, metabolic syndrome, and depression, cannot be easily attributed to smoking. There is increasing evidence that chronic inflammation is a key factor in COPD and that inflammation might be the common pathway linking these comorbidities and explaining why they typically develop together. Physicians treating patients with COPD need to become aware of these extrapulmonary aspects. Any patient with COPD should be carefully evaluated for comorbidities and the systemic consequences of COPD since they not only influence the prognosis but also have an impact on disease management. The treatment of COPD is no longer focused exclusively on inhaled therapy but is taking on a multidimensional approach, especially because the treatment of the comorbidities might positively affect the course of COPD itself.
SourceAvailable from: Alexandra Prados-Torres
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ABSTRACT: Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema has recently been recognized as a syndrome but remains under-diagnosed. Neither clinical management nor therapeutic approaches have been clearly defined. Pulmonary rehabilitation has not been considered within the therapeutic options for combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. In this case we explored the potential benefits of a specific aerobic physical retraining program in the management of combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. We describe the case of a 65-year-old Caucasian man with combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema and respiratory failure who was receiving long-term oxygen therapy. Our patient underwent physical retraining with moderate intensity aerobic and breathing exercises for four weeks. Clinical and motor tests, as well as questionnaires assessing quality of life and depression levels, were performed prior to and following the retraining. At the end of the retraining program a relevant reduction of long-term oxygen therapy requirement was registered; improvements in terms of physical performance, quality of life, and mood were observed in our patient but no change in respiratory parameters. A program of aerobic physical retraining appears to be beneficial to patients with combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema and may be considered as an additional therapeutic option.Journal of Medical Case Reports 04/2015; 9(1):85. DOI:10.1186/s13256-015-0570-3