COPD Diagnosis: Time for Disruption

E.F.M. Wouters*, M.K. Breyer, R. Breyer-Kohansal, S. Hartl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

Articulating a satisfactory definition of a disease is surprisingly difficult. Despite the alarming individual, societal and economic burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diagnosis is still largely based on a physiologically dominated disease conception, with spirometrically determined airflow limitation as a cardinal feature of the disease. The diagnostic inaccuracy and insensitivity of this physiological disease definition is reviewed considering scientific developments of imaging of the respiratory system in particular. Disease must be approached as a fluid concept in response to new scientific and medical discoveries, but labelling as well as mislabelling someone as diseased, will have enormous individual, social and financial implications. Nosology of COPD urgently needs to dynamically integrate more sensitive diagnostic procedures to detect the breadth of abnormalities early in the disease process. Integration of broader information for the identification of abnormalities in the respiratory system is a cornerstone for research models of underlying pathomechanisms to create a breakthrough in research.</p>
Original languageEnglish
Article number4660
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • COPD
  • taxonomy
  • early disease
  • airflow limitation
  • OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • CARBON-MONOXIDE TRANSFER
  • SMALL-AIRWAY-OBSTRUCTION
  • RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
  • CIGARETTE-SMOKING
  • LUNG-FUNCTION
  • LOWER LIMIT
  • COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY
  • DIFFUSING-CAPACITY
  • NORMAL SPIROMETRY

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