Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 54(4); 2003 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2003;54(4):386-394.
DOI:    Published online April 1, 2003.
Prevalence of Combined Bronchial Asthma with COPD in Patients with Moderate to Severe Air flow Limitation.
Yang Keun Rhee, Byeong Hyun In, Yang Deok Lee, Yong Chul Lee, Heung Bum Lee
1Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Korea.
2Research Institute of Clinical Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Korea.
ATS(American Thoracic Society) defined new guidelines for COPD(chronic obstructive lung disease) in April 2001, following the results of the global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease. The most important concept of COPD is an airflow limitation which is not fully reversible compared to bronchial asthma(BA). The criteria for COPD are postbronchodilator FEV1 less than 80% of the predicted value and an FEV1 per FVC ratio less than 70%. The global initiative for asthma(GINA) study defined asthma, which included immune-mediated chronic airway inflammatory airway disease, and found that airflow limitation was wide spread, variable and often completely reversible. Taken together COPD and BA may be combined in airflow limitation. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of BA in patients with COPD of moderate to severe airflow limitation. METHODS: COPD was diagnosed by symptoms and spirometry according to ATS guidelines. Enrolled subjects were examined for peak flow meters(PFM), sputum eosinophils and eosinophil cationic protein(ECP) levels, serum total IgE with allergy skin prick test, and methacholine bronchial provocation test(MBPT). RESULTS: About 27% of COPD patients with moderate to severe airflow limitation were combined with BA. There was significantly decreased response to PFM in severe COPD. However, there was no significant relationship between BA and COPD according to the degree of severity. The BA combined with COPD group showed significantly high eosinophil counts and ECP level in induced sputum. However, neutrophil counts in induced sputum showed significant elevation in the pure COPD group. CONCLUSION: Twenty-seven percent of COPD patients with moderate to severe ventilation disorder were combined with BA, but there were no significant differences according to the degree of severity.
Key Words: COPD, Asthma, Prevalence

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