[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) functions primarily to inhibit neutrophil elastase, and deficiency predisposes individuals to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Severe A1AT deficiency occurs in one in 5000 to one in 5500 of the North American population. While the exact prevalence of A1AT deficiency in patients with diagnosed COPD is not known, results from small studies provide estimates of 1% to 5%. The present document updates a previous Canadian Thoracic Society position statement from 2001, and was initiated because of lack of consensus and understanding of appropriate patients suitable for targeted testing for A1AT deficiency, and for the use of A1AT augmentation therapy. Using revised guideline development methodology, the present clinical practice guideline document systematically reviews the published literature and provides an evidence-based update. The evidence supports the practice that targeted testing for A1AT deficiency be considered in individuals with COPD diagnosed before 65 years of age or with a smoking history of <20 pack years. The evidence also supports consideration of A1AT augmentation therapy in nonsmoking or exsmoking patients with COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 25% to 80% predicted) attributable to emphysema and documented A1AT deficiency (level ≤11 µmol⁄L) who are receiving optimal pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies (including comprehensive case management and pulmonary rehabilitation) because of benefits in computed tomography scan lung density and mortality.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 03/2012; 19(2):109-16. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) participation is the standard of care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who remain symptomatic despite bronchodilator therapies. However, there are questions about specific aspects of PR programming including optimal site of rehabilitation delivery, components of rehabilitation programming, duration of rehabilitation, target populations and timing of rehabilitation. The present document was compiled to specifically address these important clinical issues, using an evidence-based, systematic review process led by a representative interprofessional panel of experts. The evidence reveals there are no differences in major patient-related outcomes of PR between nonhospital- (community or home sites) or hospital-based sites. There is strong support to recommend that COPD patients initiate PR within one month following an acute exacerbation due to benefits of improved dyspnea, exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life relative to usual care. Moreover, the benefits of PR are evident in both men and women, and in patients with moderate, severe and very severe COPD. The current review also suggests that longer PR programs, beyond six to eight weeks duration, be provided for COPD patients, and that while aerobic training is the foundation of PR, endurance and functional ability may be further improved with both aerobic and resistance training.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 01/2010; 17(4):159-68. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory condition and the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. However, little is known about the impact of COPD on the lives and attitudes of individuals living with this condition. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Canadians with COPD are properly educated and supported, and to recommend solutions to any care gaps identified.
A total of 389 Canadians were surveyed who were 40 years of age and older, physician diagnosed with COPD, and current or former smokers. The telephone survey contained 68 items and took 35 min to complete. COPD severity was classified according to symptom severity using the Medical Research Council (MRC) score.
Respondents tended to overestimate their disease severity and reported substantial symptom burden and psychosocial impact of living with COPD. Most individuals claimed to be well informed about COPD; however, their knowledge was poor in several domains including the causes of COPD, the consequences of inadequate therapy and the management of exacerbations. Family physicians were the main health care providers. A minority of respondents had seen a lung health educator. Only 34% had ever received a written action plan and only 33% had been told how to prevent an exacerbation.
The symptom burden and psychosocial impact of living with COPD is substantial. There are significant gaps in patients' knowledge about the management of COPD and little contact with lung health educators. Increased use of COPD-specific, self-management education programs may help rectify these care gaps.
Respiratory medicine 04/2009; 103(7):1004-12. · 2.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical trials measure exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) inconsistently. A study was undertaken to determine if different methods for ascertaining and analysing COPD exacerbations lead to biased estimates of treatment effects.
Information on the methods used to count, analyse and report COPD exacerbation rates was abstracted from clinical trials of long-acting bronchodilators or long-acting bronchodilator/inhaled steroid combination products published between 2000 and 2006. Data from the Canadian Optimal Therapy of COPD Trial was used to illustrate how different analytical approaches can affect the estimate of exacerbation rates and their confidence intervals.
22 trials (17,156 patients) met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. None of the trials adjudicated exacerbations or determined independence of events. 14/22 studies (64%) introduced selection bias by not analysing outcome data for subjects who prematurely stopped study medications. Only 31% of trials used time-weighted analyses to calculate the mean number of exacerbations/patient-year and only 15% accounted for between-subject variation. In the Canadian Optimal Therapy of COPD Trial the rate ratio for exacerbations/patient-year was 0.85 when all data were included in a time-weighted analysis, but was overestimated as 0.79 when data for those who prematurely stopped study medications were excluded and was further overestimated as 0.46 when a time-weighted analysis was not conducted; p values ranged from 0.03 to 0.24 depending on how exacerbations were determined and analysed.
Clinical trials have used widely different methods to define and analyse COPD exacerbations and this can lead to biased estimates of treatment effects. Future trials should strive to include blinded adjudication and assessment of the independence of exacerbation events, and trials should report time-weighted intention-to-treat analyses with adjustments for between-subject variation in COPD exacerbations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most asthma patients prescribed maintenance asthma therapies still experience periods of asthma worsenings characterized by daytime or night-time symptoms, or an increased need for rescue medication. In fact, these episodes are highly prevalent even in patients with well-controlled disease. Published literature suggests that asthma worsenings likely represent a window of opportunity during which patients could intervene early to prevent exacerbations or further deterioration of asthma symptoms. However, current evidence suggests that most patients fail to respond or to self-manage appropriately during these periods.To address the issue of asthma worsenings, an interdisciplinary committee of respirologists, allergists, family physicians, pharmacists and certified asthma educators from across Canada developed a practical definition of asthma worsenings and provided approaches to the prevention and management of these episodes based on current literature. To date, combination inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta-agonist therapy, particularly single inhaler maintenance and reliever therapy, appears to be an effective strategy for preventing asthma worsenings and exacerbations. Addressing the potential barriers to appropriate patient self-management of asthma worsenings, such as failure to adequately identify and respond to worsenings, low expectations for controlling asthma, low health literacy and poor patient-health care professional communication, are also critical to the successful prevention and management of these episodes. Finally, an interdisciplinary team approach involving patients and their families, certified asthma educators, primary care physicians, pharmacists and specialists is likely to have the greatest impact on the identification, prevention and management of asthma worsenings.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 01/2008; 15 Suppl B:1B-19B. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major respiratory illness in Canada that is both preventable and treatable. Our understanding of the pathophysiology of this complex condition continues to grow and our ability to offer effective treatment to those who suffer from it has improved considerably. The purpose of the present educational initiative of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is to provide up to date information on new developments in the field so that patients with this condition will receive optimal care that is firmly based on scientific evidence. Since the previous CTS management recommendations were published in 2003, a wealth of new scientific information has become available. The implications of this new knowledge with respect to optimal clinical care have been carefully considered by the CTS Panel and the conclusions are presented in the current document. Highlights of this update include new epidemiological information on mortality and prevalence of COPD, which charts its emergence as a major health problem for women; a new section on common comorbidities in COPD; an increased emphasis on the meaningful benefits of combined pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies; and a new discussion on the prevention of acute exacerbations. A revised stratification system for severity of airway obstruction is proposed, together with other suggestions on how best to clinically evaluate individual patients with this complex disease. The results of the largest randomized clinical trial ever undertaken in COPD have recently been published, enabling the Panel to make evidence-based recommendations on the role of modern pharmacotherapy. The Panel hopes that these new practice guidelines, which reflect a rigorous analysis of the recent literature, will assist caregivers in the diagnosis and management of this common condition.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 10/2007; 14 Suppl B:5B-32B. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with combinations of inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-agonists, and long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilators is common but unstudied.
To determine whether combining tiotropium with salmeterol or fluticasone-salmeterol improves clinical outcomes in adults with moderate to severe COPD compared with tiotropium alone.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted from October 2003 to January 2006.
27 academic and community medical centers in Canada.
449 patients with moderate or severe COPD.
1 year of treatment with tiotropium plus placebo, tiotropium plus salmeterol, or tiotropium plus fluticasone-salmeterol.
The primary end point was the proportion of patients who experienced an exacerbation of COPD that required treatment with systemic steroids or antibiotics.
The proportion of patients in the tiotropium plus placebo group who experienced an exacerbation (62.8%) did not differ from that in the tiotropium plus salmeterol group (64.8%; difference, -2.0 percentage points [95% CI, -12.8 to 8.8 percentage points]) or in the tiotropium plus fluticasone-salmeterol group (60.0%; difference, 2.8 percentage points [CI, -8.2 to 13.8 percentage points]). In sensitivity analyses, the point estimates and 95% confidence bounds shifted in the direction favoring tiotropium plus salmeterol and tiotropium plus fluticasone-salmeterol. Tiotropium plus fluticasone-salmeterol improved lung function (P = 0.049) and disease-specific quality of life (P = 0.01) and reduced the number of hospitalizations for COPD exacerbation (incidence rate ratio, 0.53 [CI, 0.33 to 0.86]) and all-cause hospitalizations (incidence rate ratio, 0.67 [CI, 0.45 to 0.99]) compared with tiotropium plus placebo. In contrast, tiotropium plus salmeterol did not statistically improve lung function or hospitalization rates compared with tiotropium plus placebo.
More than 40% of patients who received tiotropium plus placebo and tiotropium plus salmeterol discontinued therapy prematurely, and many crossed over to treatment with open-label inhaled steroids or long-acting beta-agonists.
Addition of fluticasone-salmeterol to tiotropium therapy did not statistically influence rates of COPD exacerbation but did improve lung function, quality of life, and hospitalization rates in patients with moderate to severe COPD. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial registration number: ISRCTN29870041.
Annals of internal medicine 05/2007; 146(8):545-55. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several sets of Canadian guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma have been published over the past 15 years. Since the last revision of the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Report, important new studies have highlighted the need to incorporate new information into the asthma guidelines.
To review the literature on adult asthma management published between January 2000 and June 2003; to evaluate the influence of the new evidence on the recommendations made in the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Guidelines and its 2001 update; and to report new recommendations on adult asthma management.
Three specific topics for which new evidence affected the previous recommendations were selected for review: initial treatment of asthma, add-on therapies in the treatment of asthma and asthma education. The resultant reviews were discussed in June 2003 at a meeting under the auspices of the Canadian Thoracic Society, and recommendations for adult asthma management were reviewed.
The present report emphasises the importance of the early introduction of inhaled corticosteroids in symptomatic patients with mild asthma; stresses the benefit of adding additional therapy, preferably long-acting beta2-agonists, to patients incompletely controlled on low doses of inhaled corticosteroids; and documents the essential role of asthma education.
The present report generally supports many of the previous recommendations published in the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Report and provides higher levels of evidence for a number of those recommendations.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 02/2004; 11 Suppl A:9A-18A. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyspnea is a cardinal symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and its severity and magnitude increases as the disease progresses, leading to significant disability and a negative effect on quality of life. Refractory dyspnea is a common and difficult symptom to treat in patients with advanced COPD. There are many questions concerning optimal management and, specifically, whether various therapies are effective in this setting. The present document was compiled to address these important clinical issues using an evidence-based systematic review process led by a representative interprofessional panel of experts. The evidence supports the benefits of oral opioids, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, chest wall vibration, walking aids and pursed-lip breathing in the management of dyspnea in the individual patient with advanced COPD. Oxygen is recommended for COPD patients with resting hypoxemia, but its use for the targeted management of dyspnea in this setting should be reserved for patients who receive symptomatic benefit. There is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of anxiolytic medications, nebulized opioids, acupuncture, acupressure, distractive auditory stimuli (music), relaxation, handheld fans, counselling programs or psychotherapy. There is also no evidence to support the use of supplemental oxygen to reduce dyspnea in nonhypoxemic patients with advanced COPD. Recognizing the current unfamiliarity with prescribing and dosing of opioid therapy in this setting, a potential approach for their use is illustrated. The role of opioid and other effective therapies in the comprehensive management of refractory dyspnea in patients with advanced COPD is discussed.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 18(2):69-78. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory condition and the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. Optimal COPD management requires patients to participate in their care and physician knowledge of patients' perceptions of their disease.
A prospective study in which respiratory specialist physicians completed a practice assessment questionnaire and patient assessments for 15 to 20 consecutive patients with COPD. Patients also completed a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of COPD and its management.
A total of 58 respiratory specialist physicians from across Canada completed practice assessments and 931 patient assessments. A total of 640 patients with COPD (96% with moderate, severe or very severe disease) completed questionnaires. Symptom burden was high and most patients had experienced a recent exacerbation. Potential COPD care gaps were identified with respect to appropriate medication prescription, lack of an action plan, and access to COPD educators and pulmonary rehabilitation. Perceived knowledge needs and gaps differed between physicians and patients.
Despite the dissemination of Canadian and international COPD clinical practice guidelines for more than a decade, potential care gaps remain among patients seen by respiratory specialist physicians. Differing perceptions regarding many aspects of COPD among physicians and patients may contribute to these care gaps.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 20(2):97-105. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are no published studies that have assessed whether adding long-acting beta 2-agonist bronchodilators and/or inhaled steroids to chronic therapy with tiotropium would provide additional clinical benefit to patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The Canadian Optimal Therapy of COPD Trial is a randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that has been designed to determine which combination of inhaled medications will most effectively prevent exacerbations and optimize disease-specific quality of life in patients with COPD. The trial is the first to evolve from the Canadian Thoracic Society Clinical Trials Group. The study will randomize 432 patients with moderate to severe COPD to one of three parallel treatment arms for 52 weeks: tiotropium and fluticasone/salmeterol; tiotropium and salmeterol; or tiotropium and placebo inhaler. The participants will be allowed to use salbutamol as required throughout the trial period.
The primary outcome measure is the proportion of patients in the three treatment groups who experienced a respiratory exacerbation within 52 weeks of randomization. Other outcomes that will be assessed over the 52-week trial period will include: changes in disease-specific quality of life and changes in dyspnea, health care use and changes in lung function. A pharmacoeconomic analysis will also be performed to evaluate the cost of these therapies.
The study commenced recruitment in October 2003. It is currently operating at 22 centres across Canada and has randomized 137 patients during the first four months of recruitment. Recruitment is scheduled to continue until April 2005 or until 432 patients have been randomized.
The present randomized, placebo-controlled trial offers a unique opportunity to answer the question, what is the best combination of inhaled medications to use for COPD patients? It is hoped that optimal use of inhaled medications will improve patient health and quality of life, reduce patient respiratory exacerbations, and ultimately, reduce health care resource use.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 11(8):581-5. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major respiratory illness in Canada that is preventable and treatable but unfortunately remains underdiagnosed. The purpose of the present article from the Canadian Thoracic Society is to provide up-to-date information so that patients with this condition receive optimal care that is firmly based on scientific evidence. Important summary messages for clinicians are derived from the more detailed Update publication and are highlighted throughout the document. Three key messages contained in the update are: use targeted screening spirometry to establish a diagnosis and initiate prompt management (including smoking cessation) of mild COPD; improve dyspnea and activity limitation in stable COPD using new evidence-based treatment algorithms; and understand the importance of preventing and managing acute exacerbations, particularly in moderate to severe disease.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 15 Suppl A:1A-8A. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common cause of disability and death in Canada. Moreover, morbidity and mortality from COPD continue to rise, and the economic burden is enormous. The main goal of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) Evidence-Based Guidelines is to optimize early diagnosis, prevention and management of COPD in Canada. Targeted spirometry is strongly recommended to expedite early diagnosis in smokers and exsmokers who develop respiratory symptoms, and who are at risk for COPD. Smoking cessation remains the single most effective intervention in accordance with the increasing severity of symptoms and disability. Long-acting anticholinergics and beta2-agonist inhalers should be prescribed for patients who remain symptomatic despite short-acting bronchodilatory therapy. Inhaled steroids should not be used as first-line therapy in COPD but have a role in preventing exacerbations in patients with more advanced disease who suffer recurrent exacerbations. Management strategies consisting of combined modern pharmacotherapy and nonpharmacotherapeutic interventions (eg, pulmonary rehabilitation/exercise training) can effectively improve symptoms, activity levels and quality of life, even in patients with severe COPD. Acute exacerbations of COPD cause significant morbidity and mortality and should be treated promptly with bronchodilators and a short course of oral steroids; antibiotics should be prescribed for purulent exacerbations. Patients with advanced COPD and respiratory failure require a comprehensive management plan that incorporates structured end-of-life care.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 10 Suppl A:11A-65A. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common cause of disability and death in Canada. Moreover, morbidity and mortality from COPD continue to rise, and the economic burden is enormous. The main goal of the Canadian Thoracic Society's evidence-based guidelines is to optimize early diagnosis, prevention and management of COPD in Canada. The main message of the guidelines is that COPD is a preventable and treatable disease. Targeted spirometry is strongly recommended to expedite early diagnosis in smokers and former smokers who develop respiratory symptoms, and who are at risk for COPD. Smoking cessation remains the single most effective intervention to reduce the risk of COPD and to slow its progression. Education, especially self-management plans, are key interventions in COPD. Therapy should be escalated on an individual basis in accordance with the increasing severity of symptoms and disability. Long-acting anticholinergics and beta-2-agonist inhalers should be prescribed for patients who remain symptomatic despite short-acting bronchodilator therapy. Inhaled steroids should not be used as first line therapy in COPD, but have a role in preventing exacerbations in patients with more advanced disease who suffer recurrent exacerbations. Acute exacerbations of COPD cause significant morbidity and mortality and should be treated promptly with bronchodilators and a short course of oral steroids; antibiotics should be prescribed for purulent exacerbations. Patients with advanced COPD and respiratory failure require a comprehensive management plan that incorporates structured end-of-life care. Management strategies, consisting of combined modern pharmacotherapy and nonpharmacotherapeutic interventions (eg, pulmonary rehabilitation and exercise training) can effectively improve symptoms, activity levels and quality of life, even in patients with severe COPD.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 11 Suppl B:7B-59B. · 1.29 Impact Factor