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exacerbations - Top 30 Publications

Cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbations attributable to respiratory syncytial virus and influenza: a population-based study.

Characterization of the role of respiratory viral pathogens on cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonary disease is needed. We aimed to determine the association of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity with risk of pulmonary exacerbation (PEx) in persons with CF in the United States.

C-reactive protein and N-terminal prohormone brain natriuretic peptide as biomarkers in acute exacerbations of COPD leading to hospitalizations.

There are currently no accepted and validated blood tests available for diagnosing acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). In this study, we sought to determine the discriminatory power of blood C-reactive protein (CRP) and N-terminal prohormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in the diagnosis of AECOPD requiring hospitalizations. The study cohort consisted of 468 patients recruited in the COPD Rapid Transition Program who were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of AECOPD, and 110 stable COPD patients who served as controls. Logistic regression was used to build a classification model to separate AECOPD from convalescent or stable COPD patients. Performance was assessed using an independent validation set of patients who were not included in the discovery set. Serum CRP and whole blood NT-proBNP concentrations were highest at the time of hospitalization and progressively decreased over time. Of the 3 classification models, the one with both CRP and NT-proBNP had the highest AUC in discriminating AECOPD (cross-validated AUC of 0.80). These data were replicated in a validation cohort with an AUC of 0.88. A combination of CRP and NT-proBNP can reasonably discriminate AECOPD requiring hospitalization versus clinical stability and can be used to rapidly diagnose patients requiring hospitalization for AECOPD.

Early use of noninvasive techniques for clearing respiratory secretions during noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypercapnic encephalopathy: A prospective cohort study.

Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NPPV) might be superior to conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPDs). Inefficient clearance of respiratory secretions provokes NPPV failure in patients with hypercapnic encephalopathy (HE). This study compared CMV and NPPV combined with a noninvasive strategy for clearing secretions in HE and AECOPD patients.The present study is a prospective cohort study of AECOPD and HE patients enrolled between October 2013 and August 2015 in a critical care unit of a major university teaching hospital in China.A total of 74 patients received NPPV and 90 patients received CMV. Inclusion criteria included the following: physician-diagnosed AECOPD, spontaneous airway clearance of excessive secretions, arterial blood gas analysis requiring intensive care, moderate-to-severe dyspnea, and a Kelly-Matthay scale score of 3 to 5. Exclusion criteria included the following: preexisting psychiatric/neurological disorders unrelated to HE, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, upper airway obstruction, acute coronary syndromes, preadmission tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation, and urgent endotracheal intubation for cardiovascular, psychomotor agitation, or severe hemodynamic conditions.Intensive care unit participants were managed by NPPV. Participants received standard treatment consisting of controlled oxygen therapy during NPPV-free periods; antibiotics, intravenous doxofylline, corticosteroids (e.g., salbutamol and ambroxol), and subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin; and therapy for comorbidities if necessary. Nasogastric tubes were inserted only in participants who developed gastric distension. No pharmacological sedation was administered.The primary and secondary outcome measures included comparative complication rates, durations of ventilation and hospitalization, number of invasive devices/patient, and in-hospital and 1-year mortality rates.Arterial blood gases and sensorium levels improved significantly within 2 hours in the NPPV group with lower hospital mortality, fewer complications and invasive devices/patient, and superior weaning off mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation duration, hospital stay, or 1-year mortality was similar between groups.NPPV combined with a noninvasive strategy to clear secretions during the first 2 hours may offer advantages over CMV in treating AECOPD patients complicated by HE.

Beta2-adrenergic receptor gene haplotypes and bronchodilator response in Egyptian patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multi-factorial disorder caused by environmental determinants and genetic risk factors. Understanding the genetic predisposition of COPD is essential to develop personalized treatment regimens. Beta2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) gene polymorphisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of obstructive pulmonary diseases. This study was conducted to assess the genetic association between Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu polymorphisms and COPD in the Egyptian patients, and to analyze their impact on the clinical outcome and therapeutic response.

Sublingual immunotherapy tablets as a disease-modifying add-on treatment option to pharmacotherapy for allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) with or without conjunctivitis (AR/C) is associated with a significant health and economic burden, and is often accompanied by asthma. Pharmacotherapies are the mainstay treatment options for AR and asthma, but guidelines also recommend allergy immunotherapy (AIT). Unlike pharmacotherapies, AIT has the ability to modify the underlying immunologic mechanisms of AR and asthma with the potential for long-term benefits after treatment is discontinued. Immunotherapy may also prevent progression of AR/C to asthma. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)-tablets are a self-administered alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy that provide the benefits of AIT without the cost and inconvenience of frequent office visits or the discomfort of injections. SLIT-tablets are also an option that can be utilized by primary care clinicians. Pharmacotherapies are generally effective in mild disease although a number of patients remain uncontrolled. SLIT-tablets have proven efficacy for AR in adults, children, and poly-sensitized allergic patients. Indirect comparisons indicate that SLIT-tablets have superior or comparable efficacy compared with traditional pharmacotherapies for seasonal AR, and superior efficacy for perennial AR. House dust mite (HDM) SLIT-tablets have also demonstrated clinically relevant benefits for asthma, with significant observed reductions in daily inhaled corticosteroid use, risk of asthma exacerbations, and asthma symptoms. SLIT-tablets are well tolerated, with minimal risk of systemic allergic reactions. The most common treatment-related adverse events are oral site reactions such as oral pruritus and throat irritation. Based on the favorable efficacy and safety profile, as well as the convenience of at-home oral administration and disease-modifying effects, SLIT-tablets should be considered as an alternative or add-on treatment to pharmacotherapy for AR with or without conjunctivitis, and as an add-on treatment for HDM allergic asthma.

IL4Rα and ADAM33 as genetic markers in asthma exacerbations and type-2 inflammatory endotype.

Genetic markers of susceptibility to asthma exacerbations in adults remain unclear.

A Case of Spontaneous Transdiaphragmatic Intercostal Hernia with Contralateral Injury, and Review of the Literature.

This case report discusses the diagnosis and management of a 67-year-old male presenting with a spontaneous transdiaphragmatic intercostal hernia with contralateral intercostal hernia. The patient had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations requiring multiple prolonged courses of steroids. The patient was ultimately diagnosed with computed tomography (CT) and underwent surgical repair via thoracotomy with primary repair of the diaphragmatic defect. The patient's postoperative course was uncomplicated. A review of the literature since the first similar case in 1977 recognizes the propensity of this injury to be found in patients with COPD and chronic steroid usage, as well as its diagnosis and management. The case reviewed is the second documented case of a concurrent abdominal wall herniation and the first one with a contralateral injury. It is important for clinicians to be aware of this pathology when evaluating patients with COPD and chronic steroid usage.

Characterization of secondary care for COPD in Sweden.

Introduction: Only a selected proportion of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are managed in secondary care. The aim of this study was to characterize disease severity, treatment and structure of secondary care for COPD in Sweden. Methods: Information was collected from 29 of 33 existing secondary care units of respiratory medicine in Sweden, using both individual data from 373 consecutively enrolled COPD patients with Global initiative on Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage III-IV and a structural questionnaire about available resources at the units. Patient data included exacerbations, health status assessed by COPD Assessment Test (CAT), lung function, comorbid conditions, pharmacological treatment and vaccinations. Structural data included available smoking cessation support, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, physical training, patient education and routine follow-up after exacerbations at the respective unit. All patients were reclassified according to the GOLD 2014 group A-D classification. Multiple linear regression investigated associations of available resources with number of exacerbations and CAT score. Results: According to GOLD 2014, 87% of the population were GOLD D and 13% were GOLD C. Triple inhaled therapy were prescribed in 88% of the patients. Over 75% of the units had resources for smoking cessation, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, physical training and patient education. Routine follow-up after exacerbations was available in 35% of the units. Being managed at units with access to structured patient education was associated with statistically significantly fewer exacerbations (adjusted regression coefficient (95% confidence interval) -0.79 (-1.39 to -0.19), p = 0.010). Conclusion: Most stage III-IV COPD patients managed at secondary care respiratory units in Sweden have maximized inhaled therapy and high risk disease even when reclassified according to GOLD 2014. Most units have access to smoking cessation, rehabilitation and patient education. Patients managed at units with structured patient education have a lower exacerbation risk.

COPD, stage and treatment in a large outpatient clinic.

Some COPD patients suffer from frequent exacerbations despite triple inhalation treatment. These frequent exacerbators should be identified, as exacerbations often lead to decreasing lung function and increasing mortality. Roflumilast reduces exacerbations in patients with a previous history of exacerbations. Our aim was to describe COPD patient characteristics and compare roflumilast treatment eligible to non-eligible patients. An observational cross-section study was conducted. Patients were included from a large COPD outpatient clinic. Information regarding COPD patient characteristics was registered on a standardized form and lung function was measured. Patients were categorized according to the GOLD classification. Eligibility for roflumilast treatment was assessed and patient characteristics compared between groups. 547 patients were included. Most patients (54%) were in GOLD group D. 62 patients (11.3%) met the criteria for treatment with roflumilast. Among the patients eligible for roflumilast treatment, only 14 patients (22.6%) were receiving treatment. There were no significant differences in FEV1, number of exacerbations, hospitalization due to exacerbation, MRC grade, age, smoking status and medication use between patients receiving roflumilast and not treated eligible patients. Our study documents low use of roflumilast treatment. In view of the established effect of roflumilast we think that this treatment should be considered more consistently as an option among COPD patients fulfilling the criteria for this therapy.

Physical, Mental, and Financial Impacts From Drought in Two California Counties, 2015.

To evaluate health impacts of drought during the most severe drought in California's recorded history with a rapid assessment method.

Psychological therapies for the treatment of anxiety disorders in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (commonly referred to as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) is a chronic lung condition characterised by the inflammation of airways and irreversible destruction of pulmonary tissue leading to progressively worsening dyspnoea. It is a leading international cause of disability and death in adults. Evidence suggests that there is an increased prevalence of anxiety disorders in people with COPD. The severity of anxiety has been shown to correlate with the severity of COPD, however anxiety can occur with all stages of COPD severity. Coexisting anxiety and COPD contribute to poor health outcomes in terms of exercise tolerance, quality of life and COPD exacerbations. The evidence for treatment of anxiety disorders in this population is limited, with a paucity of evidence to support the efficacy of medication-only treatments. It is therefore important to evaluate psychological therapies for the alleviation of these symptoms in people with COPD.

Targeting Interleukin-5 or Interleukin-5Rα: Safety Considerations.

Asthma is a highly prevalent chronic disease of the airways; approximately 10% of patients with asthma will experience a severe form of the disease. New understanding of the pathogenesis of asthma has enabled the development of novel drugs and provided hope for patients with asthma. Interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-5 receptor subunit α (IL-5-Rα) plays a crucial role in the development, maturation, and operation of eosinophils so were the first important therapeutic target of these new drugs. While the results of early clinical trials of these drugs were not promising, results improved once researchers discovered the drugs worked best in patients with high eosinophil levels. Patients treated with both anti-IL-5 and IL-5-Rα experienced significant decreases in exacerbations. Trials have also demonstrated promising safety profiles; adverse events have been few and frequently only observed with placebo or considered unrelated to the study drug. The positive efficacy and safety profiles of these drugs has led to trials with interesting results in other diseases that are also secondary to the action of eosinophils: Churg-Strauss syndrome, hypereosinophilic syndrome, nasal polyposis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, atopic dermatitis, and esophagitis. In this review, we explore the main clinical trials of anti-IL-5 and IL-5-Rα, both in asthma and in other pathologies, with particular reference to the interesting safety and efficacy results.

Precision medicine in asthma: the role of bronchial thermoplasty.

The inflammatory makeup of severe asthma is heterogeneous. Identification of the predominant cellular endotype via biomarkers can aid in the selection of more advanced therapies. This review is clinically focused on how to use these biomarkers to help select between biologic agents and/or bronchial thermoplasty.

Effect of outdoor air pollution on asthma exacerbations in children and adults: Systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis.

Several observational studies have suggested that outdoor air pollution may induce or aggravate asthma. However, epidemiological results are inconclusive due to the presence of numerous moderators which influence this association. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between outdoor air pollutants and moderate or severe asthma exacerbations in children and adults through a systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis.

Predicting future risk of exacerbations in Japanese patients with adult asthma: A prospective 1-year follow up study.

To avoid future risk is a definitive goal of long-term asthma management. Exacerbations are considered to be the most relevant future risk in real life asthma management. Few comparative studies have evaluated the risk factors associated with exacerbations in Japanese patients with asthma.

Neutralization of both IL-1α/IL-1β plays a major role in suppressing combined cigarette smoke/virus-induced pulmonary inflammation in mice.

Smoking is an important risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and viral infections are believed to be major triggers of exacerbations, which periodically lead to a worsening of symptoms. The pro-inflammatory IL-1 family members IL-1α and IL-1β are increased in COPD patients and might contribute to disease pathology. We investigated whether individual or combined inhibition of these cytokines reduced lung inflammation in cigarette smoke (CS)-exposed and H1N1-infected BALB/c mice. Animals were treated with individual or combined antibodies (Abs) directed against IL-1α, IL-1β or IL-1R1. Cells in BAL fluid and cytokines/chemokines in lung homogenate were determined. The viral load was investigated. Blocking IL-1α had significant suppressive effects on total cells, neutrophils, and macrophages. Furthermore, it reduced KC levels significantly. Blocking of IL-1β did not provide significant activity. In line with the in vivo findings, IL-1α Abs but not IL-1β Abs reduced levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in H1N1 infected primary human bronchial epithelial air-liquid-interface cell culture. Concomitant usage of Abs against IL-1α/IL-1β revealed strong effects in vivo and reduced total cells, neutrophils and macrophages. Additionally, levels of KC, IL-6, TNF-α, MCP-1, MIP-1α and MIP-1β were significantly reduced and ICAM-1 and MUC5 A/C mRNA expression was attenuated. The viral load decreased significantly upon combined IL-1α/IL-1β Ab treatment. Blocking the IL-1R1 provided significant effects on total cells, neutrophils and macrophages but was inferior compared to inhibiting both its soluble ligands IL-1α/IL-1β. Our results suggest that combined inhibition of IL-1α/IL-1β might be beneficial to reduce CS/H1N1-induced airway inflammation. Moreover, combined targeting of both IL-1α/IL-1β might be more efficient compared to individual neutralization IL-1α or IL-1β or inhibition of the IL-1R1.

Management of acute asthma exacerbations.

Herein, we review the current guidelines for the management of children with an acute asthma exacerbation. We focus on management in the emergency department, inpatient, and ICU settings.

Bronchiectasis: Phenotyping a Complex Disease.

Bronchiectasis is a long-neglected disease currently experiencing a surge in interest. It is a highly complex condition with numerous aetiologies, co-morbidities and a heterogeneous disease presentation and clinical course. The past few years have seen major advances in our understanding of the disease, primarily through large real-life cohort studies. The main outcomes of interest in bronchiectasis are symptoms, exacerbations, treatment response, disease progression and death. We are now more able to identify clearly the radiological, clinical, microbiological and inflammatory contributors to these outcomes. Over the past couple of years, multidimensional scoring systems such as the Bronchiectasis Severity Index have been introduced to predict disease severity and mortality. Although there are currently no licensed therapies for bronchiectasis, an increasing number of clinical trials are planned or ongoing. While this emerging evidence is awaited, bronchiectasis guidelines will continue to be informed largely by real-life evidence from observational studies and patient registries. Key developments in the bronchiectasis field include the establishment of international disease registries and characterisation of disease phenotypes using cluster analysis and biological data.

Eosinophilia, Frequent Exacerbations, and Steroid Response in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Plausible Roles for RAGE in Conditions Exacerbated by Direct and Indirect (Secondhand) Smoke Exposure.

Approximately 1 billion people smoke worldwide, and the burden placed on society by primary and secondhand smokers is expected to increase. Smoking is the leading risk factor for myriad health complications stemming from diverse pathogenic programs. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contains thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic inflammatory responses and destructive remodeling events. In the current review, we outline details related to compromised pulmonary and systemic conditions related to smoke exposure. Specifically, data are discussed relative to impaired lung physiology, cancer mechanisms, maternal-fetal complications, cardiometabolic, and joint disorders in the context of smoke exposure exacerbations. As a general unifying mechanism, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) and its signaling axis is increasingly considered central to smoke-related pathogenesis. RAGE is a multi-ligand cell surface receptor whose expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure. RAGE signaling participates in the underpinning of inflammatory mechanisms mediated by requisite cytokines, chemokines, and remodeling enzymes. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of lung disease and systemic complications that combine during the demise of those exposed.

Can the response to Omalizumab be influenced by treatment duration? A real-life study.

It is unknown whether Omalizumab effectiveness changes over the course of time. Our retrospective real-life study tried to analyze whether Omalizumab response may be influenced by treatment duration.

Addition of anti-leukotriene agents to inhaled corticosteroids for adults and adolescents with persistent asthma.

Asthma management guidelines recommend low-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) as first-line therapy for adults and adolescents with persistent asthma. The addition of anti-leukotriene agents to ICS offers a therapeutic option in cases of suboptimal control with daily ICS.

Comparative Efficacies of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Systemic Corticosteroids in Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Corticosteroids play an important role in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, and a global initiative has suggested the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) as an alternative to systemic corticosteroids (SCs). Here, we report results of a meta-analysis performed to systematically compare the efficacies of ICSs and SCs in the treatment of COPD exacerbations.

Biomarkers To Monitor Exacerbations in Cystic Fibrosis.

Dietary Self-management in Heart Failure: High Tech or High Touch?

Dietary management of heart failure (HF) has largely been focused on sodium and fluid restrictions. Although safety and efficacy of these interventions in HF remain unclear, a daily sodium intake between 2000 and 3000 mg/day appears to be safe in these patients. Ongoing clinical research will inform on the safety and efficacy of a more restrictive sodium intake to less than 1500 mg/day. Data shows that routine fluid restriction in HF regardless of symptoms may be unnecessary; however, in patients with signs of congestion, fluid restriction to 2.0 L/day may be advisable. Recently, more attention has been paid to other nutritional aspects of HF beyond sodium and fluid intake, although there is still little evidence available to guide nutritional management of HF. Assuring that patients meet daily requirements for key micronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin E, vitamin D, zinc, and thiamine, is essential in order to prevent deficiencies. More appropriate macronutrient composition of the diet is still to be determined; however, a diet containing 50-55% carbohydrates, 25-30% fat, and 15-20% protein seems acceptable for patients with HF with or without non-end-stage renal disease. Additionally, increased protein intake may be considered in malnourished/cachectic patients. Consulting a registered dietitian is especially helpful for patients with recent HF exacerbations or for patients with multiple comorbidities who may need to follow several dietary restrictions and may benefit of individualized dietary counseling in order to ensure appropriate intake of energy, protein, and micronutrients. Today, there are still several knowledge gaps in guiding the dietary management of HF. In this article, we review current recommendations for the dietary management of HF and the evidence supporting this practice.

Antimicrobial peptide levels are linked to airway inflammation, bacterial colonisation and exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are effectors of host defence against infection, inflammation and wound repair. We aimed to study AMP levels in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and during acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), and to examine their relation to clinical parameters and inflammatory markers.The 3-year Bergen COPD Cohort Study included 433 COPD patients and 325 controls. Induced sputum was obtained and analysed for levels of the AMPs human cathelicidin (hCAP18/LL-37) and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), and for the inflammatory markers interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) using immunoassays. Systemic hCAP18/LL-37 and vitamin D levels were also studied. Treating AMPs as response variables, non-parametric tests were applied for univariate comparison, and linear regression to obtain adjusted estimates. The risk of AECOPD was assessed by Cox proportional-hazard regression.Sputum AMP levels were higher in patients with stable COPD (n=215) compared to controls (n=45), and further changed during AECOPD (n=56), with increased hCAP18/LL-37 and decreased SLPI levels. Plasma hCAP18/LL-37 levels showed a similar pattern. In stable COPD, high sputum hCAP18/LL-37 levels were associated with increased risk of AECOPD, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae colonisation, higher age, ex-smoking and higher levels of inflammatory markers.Altered levels of selected AMPs are linked to airway inflammation, infection and AECOPD, suggesting a role for these peptides in airway defence mechanisms in COPD.

Growth differentiation factor-15 is a predictor of important disease outcomes in patients with COPD.

Increased levels of growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF15) are associated with cachexia, cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. The role of GDF15 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown.The study included 413 patients with COPD from the Bergen COPD Cohort Study. All patients had a forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) <80% predicted, a FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio <0.7 and a history of smoking. Spirometry, fat free mass index, blood gases and plasma GDF15 were measured at baseline. Patients were followed for 3 years regarding exacerbations and changes in lung function, and 9 years for mortality. Yearly exacerbation rate, survival and yearly change in FEV1/FVC were evaluated with regression models.Median plasma GDF15 was 0.86 ng·mL(-1) (interquartile range 0.64-1.12 ng·mL(-1)). The distribution was not normal and GDF15 was analysed as a categorical variable. High levels of GDF15 were associated with a higher exacerbation rate (incidence rate ratio 1.39, 95% CI 1.1-1.74, p=0.006, adjusted values). Furthermore, high levels of GDF15 were associated with higher mortality (hazard ratio 2.07, 95% CI 1.4-3.1, p<0.001) and an increased decline in both FEV1 (4.29% versus 3.25%) and FVC (2.63% versus 1.44%) in comparison to low levels (p<0.01 for both).In patients with COPD, high levels of GDF15 were independently associated with a higher yearly rate of exacerbations, higher mortality and increased decline in both FEV1 and FVC.

Management of COPD exacerbations: a European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society guideline.

This document provides clinical recommendations for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations.Comprehensive evidence syntheses, including meta-analyses, were performed to summarise all available evidence relevant to the Task Force's questions. The evidence was appraised using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach and the results were summarised in evidence profiles. The evidence syntheses were discussed and recommendations formulated by a multidisciplinary Task Force of COPD experts.After considering the balance of desirable and undesirable consequences, quality of evidence, feasibility, and acceptability of various interventions, the Task Force made: 1) a strong recommendation for noninvasive mechanical ventilation of patients with acute or acute-on-chronic respiratory failure; 2) conditional recommendations for oral corticosteroids in outpatients, oral rather than intravenous corticosteroids in hospitalised patients, antibiotic therapy, home-based management, and the initiation of pulmonary rehabilitation within 3 weeks after hospital discharge; and 3) a conditional recommendation against the initiation of pulmonary rehabilitation during hospitalisation.The Task Force provided recommendations related to corticosteroid therapy, antibiotic therapy, noninvasive mechanical ventilation, home-based management, and early pulmonary rehabilitation in patients having a COPD exacerbation. These recommendations should be reconsidered as new evidence becomes available.

Screening for COPD: the gap between logic and evidence.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease leading to further morbidity and significant mortality. The first step for any condition is to make the appropriate diagnosis, and spirometry barriers abound in practice around the world. It is tempting to undertake mass screening on all smokers to detect COPD. While this would pick up cases of COPD, results of studies of its effect on COPD end-points such as exacerbations, hospitalisations and mortality are disappointing. As such, aggressive case finding of COPD by screening for symptoms that patients may not themselves perceive is very important in primary care, with subsequent spirometry defining the diagnosis.We also have to separate out population screening from individual patient interactions. Performing spirometry, even on a truly asymptomatic patient, may allow earlier diagnosis and modification of risk factors such as smoking (mostly) and exacerbation risk. It also recognises patients with early disease who are at high risk of comorbidities such as cardiac illness, such that appropriate treatment strategies can be implemented. Making a diagnosis, and even the fact of worrying about such a diagnosis, can affect the motivational level of the individual patient to cease smoking; all patients should of course be counselled to stop smoking. As such, consider the individual patient in front of you for unrecognised symptoms and therefore unrecognised illness, as making a diagnosis earlier can allow the institution of care, including smoking cessation, vaccination, bronchodilators and comorbidity management.

Pharmacological treatments in asthma-affected horses: a pair-wise and network meta-analysis.

Equine asthma is a disease characterised by reversible airflow obstruction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation following exposure of susceptible horses to specific airborne agents. Although clinical remission can be achieved in a low-airborne dust environment, repeated exacerbations may lead to irreversible airway remodelling. The available data on the pharmacotherapy of equine asthma results from several small studies, and no head-to-head clinical trials have been conducted among the available medications.