Inflammatory Biomarkers Improve Clinical Prediction of Mortality in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

B.R. Celli*, N. Locantore, J. Yates, R. Tal Singer, B.E. Miller, P. Bakke, P. Calverley, H. Coxson, C. Crim, L.D. Edwards, D.A. Lomas, A. Duvoix, W. MacNee, S. Rennard, E. Silverman, J. Vestbo, E. Wouters, A. Agusti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rationale: Accurate prediction of mortality helps select patients for interventions aimed at improving outcome.

Objectives: Because chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is characterized by low-grade systemic inflammation, we hypothesized that addition of inflammatory biomarkers to established predictive factors will improve accuracy.

Methods: A total of 1,843 patients enrolled in the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints study were followed for 3 years. Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank analysis, and Cox proportional hazards analyses determined the predictive value for mortality of clinical variables, while C statistics assessed the added discriminative power offered by addition of biomarkers.

Measurements and Main Results: At recruitment we measured anthropometrics, spirometry, 6-minute walk distance, dyspnea, BODE index, history of hospitalization, comorbidities, and computed tomography scan emphysema. White blood cell and neutrophil counts, serum or plasma levels of fibrinogen, chemokine ligand 18, surfactant protein D, C-reactive protein, Clara cell secretory protein-16, IL-6 and -8, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were determined at recruitment and subsequent visits. A total of 168 of the 1,843 patients (9.1%) died. Non-survivors were older and had more severe airflow limitation, increased dyspnea, higher BODE score, more emphysema, and higher rates of comorbidities and history of hospitalizations. The best predictive model for mortality using clinical variables included age, BODE, and hospitalization history (C statistic of 0.686; P <0.001). One single biomarker (IL-6) significantly improved the C statistic to 0.708, but this was further improved to 0.726 (P = 0.003) by the addition of all biomarkers.

Conclusions: The addition of a panel of selected biomarkers improves the ability of established clinical variables to predict mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1072
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2012


  • pulmonary disease
  • chronic obstructive
  • prognosis
  • mortality
  • biologic markers
  • COPD


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