Relationship between airway inflammation and frequency of exacerbations in patients with smoking related COPD

Simon Gompertz, Darren Bayley, S Hill, Robert Stockley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

149 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Patients with more frequent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have increased bronchial inflammation. Airway inflammation was measured in patients who had been thoroughly investigated with full pulmonary function testing, thoracic HRCT scanning, and sputum microbiology to examine further the relationship between exacerbation frequency and bronchial inflammation. METHODS: Airway inflammation (spontaneous sputum sol phase myeloperoxidase (MPO), elastase, leukotriene (LT)B(4), interleukin (IL)-8, secretory leukoprotenase inhibitor (SLPI), protein leakage) and serum levels of C reactive protein (CRP) were compared in 40 patients with stable, smoking related COPD, divided into those with frequent (> or =3/year) or infrequent (<or =2/year) exacerbations according to the number of primary care consultations during the preceding year. The comparisons were repeated after excluding eight otherwise clinically indistinguishable patients who had tubular bronchiectasis on the HRCT scan. RESULTS: Patients with frequent (n=12) and infrequent (n=28) exacerbations were indistinguishable in terms of their clinical, pulmonary function, and sputum characteristics, CRP concentrations, and all of their bronchial inflammatory parameters (p>0.05). The patients without evidence of tubular bronchiectasis (n=32) were equally well matched but the sputum concentrations of SLPI were significantly lower in the frequent exacerbators (n=8) in this subset analysis (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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