The value of quantitative computed tomography (QCT) to identify chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) phenotypes is increasingly appreciated. We hypothesized that QCT-defined emphysema and airway abnormalities relate to St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and BODE.
1,200 COPDGene subjects meeting GOLD criteria for COPD with QCT analysis were included. Total lung emphysema was measured using density mask technique with a -950 HU threshold. An automated program measured mean wall thickness (WT), wall area percent (WA%) and pi10 in six segmental bronchi. Separate multivariate analyses examined the relative influence of airway measures and emphysema on SGRQ and BODE.
In separate models predicting SGRQ score, a one unit standard deviation (SD) increase in each airway measure predicted higher SGRQ scores (for WT, 1.90 points higher, p=0.002; for WA%, 1.52 points higher, p=0.02; for pi10, 2.83 points higher p<0.001). The comparable increase in SGRQ for a one unit SD increase in percent emphysema in these models was relatively weaker, significant only in the pi10 model (for percent emphysema, 1.45 points higher, p=0.01). In separate models predicting BODE, a one unit SD increase in each airway measure predicted higher BODE scores (for WT, 1.07 fold increase, p<0.001; for WA%, 1.20 fold increase, p<0.001; for pi10, 1.16 fold increase, p<0.001). In these models, emphysema more strongly influenced BODE (range 1.24-1.26 fold increase, p<0.001).
Emphysema and airway disease both relate to clinically important parameters. The relative influence of airway disease is greater for SGRQ; the relative influence of emphysema is greater for BODE.
Imaging; COPD; emphysema
It can be challenging to maintain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in clinical studies. COPDGene is a multicenter, observational study designed to identify genetic factors associated with COPD and to characterize COPD-related phenotypes. To obtain follow-up data on patient's vital status and outcomes, the COPDGene Longitudinal Follow-up (LFU) Program was developed to supplement its parent study.
We used a telecommunication system that employed automated telephone contact or web-based questions to obtain longitudinal follow-up data in our subjects. A branching questionnaire asked about exacerbations, new therapies, smoking status, development of co-morbid conditions, and general health status. Study coordinators contacted subjects who did not respond to one of the automated methods. We enrolled 10,383 subjects in the COPDGene study. As of August 29, 2011, 7,959 subjects completed 19,955 surveys. On the first survey, 68.8% of subjects who completed their survey did so by electronic means, while 31.3% required coordinator phone follow-up. On each subsequent survey the number of subjects who completed their survey by electronic means increased, while the number of subjects who required coordinator follow-up decreased. Despite many of the patients in the cohort being chronically ill and elderly, there was broad acceptance of the system with over half the cohort using electronic response methods.
The COPDGene LFU Study demonstrated that telecommunications was an effective way to obtain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in a large multicenter study. Web-based and automated phone contacts are accepted by research subjects and could serve as a model for LFU in future studies.
COPD; COPDGene; Emphysema; Longitudinal data collection; Exacerbations; Follow-up studies; Elderly
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease that afflicts patients with relentlessly progressive shortness of breath [Joint Statement of the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: diagnosis and treatment. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;161:646–641]. Despite nearly 30 years of intense investigation, effective therapy for IPF remains elusive; median survival rates have stubbornly remained less than five years from the time of diagnosis [Bjoraker JA, Ryu JH, Edwin MK, Meyers J, Tazelaar H, Schroeder D, et al. Prognostic significance of histopathologic subsets in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:199–2032, Flaherty KR, Thwaite E, Kazerooni EA, Gross B, Toews GB, Colby TV, et al. Radiological versus histological diagnosis in UIP and NSIP: survival implications. Thorax 2003;58:143–483], and no medical therapy has been proved to be in any way effective for the treatment of this disease. Without medications that help IPF patients live longer, an important question to ask is whether there are interventions that might allow these people to live better—to be more active; to experience less dyspnea, less depression, less anxiety; to possess a greater sense of control over their disease; and to have better quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation helps to accomplish many of these goals in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emerging data suggest that it may do the same for patients with IPF.
Pulmonary fibrosis; Pulmonary rehabilitation; Dyspnea
Although prior research indicates that religious and spiritual coping is associated with positive health outcomes, few studies have examined religious and spiritual coping among patients with emphysema.
To describe the utilization of religious and spiritual coping and its relationship to quality of life among patients with emphysema, in a 2-year longitudinal follow-up study.
Forty patients with emphysema (mean age 63.5 ± 6.0 y, 8 women) who participated in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial were matched on age, sex, race, and education with 40 healthy individuals recruited from the community. We conducted baseline assessment of overall coping strategies, psychological functioning, quality of life, pulmonary function, and exercise capacity, and we assessed overall coping strategies and religious and spiritual coping at 2-year follow-up.
Ninety percent of the patients with emphysema considered themselves at least slightly religious and spiritual. The patients reported using both negative religious coping (eg, questioning God) and positive religious coping (eg, prayer) more than the healthy control subjects at follow-up. However, greater use of religious and spiritual coping was associated with poorer illness-related quality of life.
Patients with emphysema appear to use various coping strategies in responding to their illness. Future research should investigate if patients using religious and spiritual coping would benefit from interventions to address emotional distress and reduced quality of life.
emphysema; pulmonary rehabilitations; coping; depression; anxiety; quality of life; religiosity; spirituality; National Emphysema Treatment Trial
The genetic risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are still largely unknown. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of limited size have identified several novel risk loci for COPD at CHRNA3/CHRNA5/IREB2, HHIP and FAM13A; additional loci may be identified through larger studies. We performed a GWAS using a total of 3499 cases and 1922 control subjects from four cohorts: the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE); the Normative Aging Study (NAS) and National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT); Bergen, Norway (GenKOLS); and the COPDGene study. Genotyping was performed on Illumina platforms with additional markers imputed using 1000 Genomes data; results were summarized using fixed-effect meta-analysis. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 19q13 (rs7937, OR = 0.74, P = 2.9 × 10−9). Genotyping this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and another nearby SNP in linkage disequilibrium (rs2604894) in 2859 subjects from the family-based International COPD Genetics Network study (ICGN) demonstrated supportive evidence for association for COPD (P = 0.28 and 0.11 for rs7937 and rs2604894), pre-bronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.08 and 0.04) and severe (GOLD 3&4) COPD (P = 0.09 and 0.017). This region includes RAB4B, EGLN2, MIA and CYP2A6, and has previously been identified in association with cigarette smoking behavior.
In COPD patients, hyperinflation impairs cardiac function. We examined whether lung deflation improves oxygen pulse, a surrogate marker of stroke volume.
In 129 NETT patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and arterial blood gases (ABG substudy), hyperinflation was assessed with residual volume to total lung capacity ratio (RV/TLC), and cardiac function with oxygen pulse (O2 pulse=VO2/HR) at baseline and 6 months. Medical and surgical patients were divided into “deflators” and “non-deflators” based on change in RV/TLC from baseline (ΔRV/TLC). We defined deflation as the ΔRV/TLC experienced by 75% of surgical patients. We examined changes in O2 pulse at peak and similar (iso-work) exercise. Findings were validated in 718 patients who underwent CPET without ABGs.
In the ABG substudy, surgical and medical deflators improved their RV/TLC and peak O2 pulse (median ΔRV/TLC −18.0% vs. −9.3%, p=0.0003; median ΔO2 pulse 13.6% vs. 1.8%, p=0.12). Surgical deflators also improved iso-work O2 pulse (0.53 mL/beat, p=0.04 at 20 watts). In the validation cohort, surgical deflators experienced a greater improvement in peak O2 pulse than medical deflators (mean 18.9% vs. 1.1%). In surgical deflators improvements in O2 pulse at rest and during unloaded pedaling (0.32 mL/beat, p<0.0001 and 0.47 mL/beat, p<0.0001, respectively) corresponded with significant reductions in HR and improvements in VO2. On multivariate analysis, deflators were 88% more likely than non-deflators to have an improvement in O2 pulse (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.30–2.72, p=0.0008).
In COPD, decreased hyperinflation through lung volume reduction is associated with improved O2 pulse.
cardiac function; hyperinflation; lung volume reduction surgery; oxygen pulse
Assessment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is important to establish an accurate diagnosis, assist in making therapeutic decisions, measuring outcomes for clinical and research purposes, and determining prognosis. Chest computed tomography (CT) scans are useful in patients who present with airflow limitation and clinical features suggestive of COPD but in whom other diagnoses are being considered. In such cases, a chest CT may indicate another diagnosis. The amount and distribution of emphysema can identify outcomes from lung volume reduction surgery, and chest CT scans are mandatory in assessment of patients for this surgery. Quantitative parameters from chest CT scans have been used to define longitudinal progression of disease. Assessment of patients with COPD for both clinical and research purposes should incorporate a variety of different outcomes. There are outcome measures that have been successfully incorporated in large clinical trials, and the design and outcomes of these trials can be used to plan future clinical investigations in COPD.
chest computed tomography scan; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; outcomes; health status; exercise capacity
Severe hypoxemia is a major complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Long term oxygen therapy is beneficial in hypoxemic COPD patients. However, the clinical and radiographic predictors of hypoxemia and the use of oxygen therapy are not well described. This study aimed to find the correlates of resting hypoxemia and the pattern of oxygen use in moderate to severe COPD patients.
Subjects with GOLD stage II or higher COPD from the first 2500 COPDGene subjects were included in this analysis. All subjects were current or ex-smokers between ages 45 and 80. Severe resting hypoxemia was defined as room air oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤ 88%. Use of supplemental oxygen therapy was determined by questionnaire.
Eighty-two of 1060 COPD subjects (7.7%) had severe resting hypoxemia. Twenty-one of the 82 (25.6%) were not using continuous supplemental oxygen. Female sex, higher BMI, lower FEV1, and enrollment in Denver were independent risk factors for hypoxemia; emphysema severity on quantitative chest CT scan did not predict hypoxemia. 132 of 971(13.6%) subjects without severe resting hypoxemia were using continuous supplemental oxygen. In non-hypoxemic oxygen users, Denver recruitment, higher BMI, lower FEV1, and more severe dyspnea were associated with the use of continuous oxygen.
A large number of COPD patients without severe hypoxemia were using supplemental oxygen therapy and the pattern of oxygen use was affected by factors other than resting SpO2 and emphysema severity. Longitudinal data will be required to reveal the effects of oxygen therapy in this subgroup.
Hypoxemia; long-term oxygen therapy; COPD; emphysema
Rationale: A significant proportion of smokers have lung function impairment characterized by a reduced FEV1 with a preserved FEV1/FVC ratio. These smokers are a poorly characterized group due to their systematic exclusion from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) studies.
Objectives: To characterize the clinical, functional, and radiographic features of Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)-Unclassified (FEV1/FVC ≥ 0.7 and FEV1 < 80% predicted) and lower limits of normal (LLN)-unclassified (FEV1/FVC ≥ LLN and FEV1 < LLN) subjects compared to smokers with normal lung function and subjects with COPD.
Methods: Data from the first 2,500 subjects enrolled in the COPDGene study were analyzed. All subjects had 10 or more pack-years of smoking and were between the ages of 45 and 80 years. Multivariate regression models were constructed to determine the clinical and radiological variables associated with GOLD-Unclassified (GOLD-U) and LLN-Unclassified status. Separate multivariate regressions were performed in the subgroups of subjects with complete radiologic measurement variables available.
Measurements and Main Results: GOLD-U smokers account for 9% of smokers in COPDGene and have increased body mass index (BMI), a disproportionately reduced total lung capacity, and a higher proportion of nonwhite subjects and subjects with diabetes. GOLD-U subjects exhibit increased airway wall thickness compared to smoking control subjects and decreased gas trapping and bronchodilator responsiveness compared to subjects with COPD. When LLN criteria were used to define the “unclassified” group, African American subjects were no longer overrepresented. Both GOLD-U and LLN-Unclassified subjects demonstrated a wide range of lung function impairment, BMI, and percentage of total lung emphysema.
Conclusions: Subjects with reduced FEV1 and a preserved FEV1/FVC ratio are a heterogeneous group with significant symptoms and functional limitation who likely have a variety of underlying etiologies beyond increased BMI.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT000608764).
lung diseases, classification; lung diseases, diagnosis; lung diseases, epidemiology
The coexistence of COPD and asthma is widely recognized but has not been well described. This study characterizes clinical features, spirometry, and chest CT scans of smoking subjects with both COPD and asthma.
We performed a cross-sectional study comparing subjects with COPD and asthma to subjects with COPD alone in the COPDGene Study.
119 (13%) of 915 subjects with COPD reported a history of physician-diagnosed asthma. These subjects were younger (61.3 vs 64.7 years old, p = 0.0001) with lower lifetime smoking intensity (43.7 vs 55.1 pack years, p = 0.0001). More African-Americans reported a history of asthma (33.6% vs 15.6%, p < 0.0001). Subjects with COPD and asthma demonstrated worse disease-related quality of life, were more likely to have had a severe COPD exacerbation in the past year, and were more likely to experience frequent exacerbations (OR 3.55 [2.19, 5.75], p < 0.0001). Subjects with COPD and asthma demonstrated greater gas-trapping on chest CT. There were no differences in spirometry or CT measurements of emphysema or airway wall thickness.
Subjects with COPD and asthma represent a relevant clinical population, with worse health-related quality of life. They experience more frequent and severe respiratory exacerbations despite younger age and reduced lifetime smoking history.
Airway hyperresponsiveness; asthma; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; Exacerbation; Gas-trapping
The objective of this study was to test three hypotheses in a sample of individuals with COPD: 1) unsupportive family relationships are associated with psychological distress; 2) psychological distress is associated with smoking status; and 3) unsupportive family relationships are indirectly associated with smoking status via psychological distress.
Cross-sectional data were collected via self-report questionnaires completed by 455 individuals with COPD who had at least a 10 pack-year smoking history. The hypotheses were tested with structural equation modeling.
All three hypotheses were supported. Unsupportive family relationships were associated with psychological distress (β = .67, p < .001), psychological distress was associated with smoking status (β = .40, p < .001), and unsupportive family relationships were indirectly associated with smoking status via psychological distress (β = .27, p < .001).
Results of this study suggest that family relationships are an important factor to include in future longitudinal research that attempts to elucidate social and psychological influences on smoking behavior.
depression; anxiety; smoking; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Family relationship quality predicts medical outcomes in various health conditions, including stroke, end stage renal disease, and heart failure. Family relationships also influence the onset and course of depression and anxiety disorders. Family may be particularly important in COPD given the high prevalence of depression and anxiety in COPD patients and the association of depression and anxiety with important clinical features of COPD such as dyspnea. The objective of this study was to test three hypotheses in a sample of individuals with COPD: 1) unsupportive family relationships are associated with psychological distress; 2) psychological distress is associated with dyspnea and impairment in health-related quality of life; and 3) unsupportive family relationships are indirectly associated with dyspnea and health-related quality of life via psychological distress. Cross-sectional data were collected via self-report questionnaires completed by 526 individuals with COPD. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses. All three hypotheses were supported. Unsupportive family relationships were associated with psychological distress, psychological distress was associated with dyspnea and impairment in health-related quality of life, and unsupportive family relationships were indirectly associated with dyspnea and health-related quality of life via psychological distress. If subsequent longitudinal investigations demonstrate that unsupportive family relationships do indeed lead to psychological distress among individuals with COPD, then interventions to improve family relationships of patients with COPD could lead to reductions in psychological distress and, ultimately, to improvements in dyspnea and quality of life.
Pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive; Psychological distress; Health status; Family; Interpersonal relations
Substantial evidence suggests that there is genetic susceptibility to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To identify common genetic risk variants, we performed a genome-wide association study in 2940 cases and 1380 smoking controls with normal lung function. We demonstrate a novel susceptibility locus at 4q22.1 in FAM13A (rs7671167, OR=0.76, P=8.6×10−8) and provide evidence of replication in one case-control and two family-based cohorts (for all studies, combined P=1.2×10−11).
Various psychological and cognitive difficulties have been documented in patients with emphysema. The aim of this article is to review prior literature on the prevalence of these difficulties in emphysema, as well as identify specific studies demonstrating improvement in these areas after therapy. Traditional therapies such as continuous and intermittent oxygen therapy and comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation are reviewed. In general, these studies demonstrate reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as specific improvements in complex attention and verbal fluency. In a more recent study, patients with emphysema who underwent lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) demonstrated improved psychomotor speed, verbal memory, and naming skills at 6 months compared with patients with emphysema who were in comprehensive rehabilitation only. The patients with emphysema who had LVRS also demonstrated greater decline in depressive symptoms compared with the rehabilitation patients at 6 months. There were no associations between improved neuropsychological tests and changes in depression, exercise tests, pulmonary function, oxygenation, or quality of life scores, and thus the mechanism of behavioral improvement identified in the patients who underwent LVRS remained unclear. Overall, studies suggest that psychological and cognitive improvements occur subsequent to a variety of medical and behavioral treatment therapeutic approaches, and that LVRS appears to have an advantage for some patients with emphysema.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung volume reduction surgery; neurobehavioral
Comorbidities such as cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, and psychological disorders are commonly reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but with great variability in reported prevalence. Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for many of these comorbidities as well as for COPD, making it difficult to draw conclusions about the relationship between COPD and these comorbidities. However, recent large epidemiologic studies have confirmed the independent detrimental effects of these comorbidities on patients with COPD. On the other hand, many of these comorbidities are now considered to be part of the commonly prevalent nonpulmonary sequelae of COPD that are relevant not only to the understanding of the real burden of COPD but also to the development of effective management strategies.
chronic bronchitis; obstructive lung disease; epidemiology
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an established treatment for patients with chronic lung disease. Benefits include improvement in exercise tolerance, symptoms, and quality of life, with a reduction in the use of health care resources. As an adjunct to surgical programs, such as lung volume reduction surgery, pulmonary rehabilitation plays an important role not just in preparing patients for surgery and facilitating recovery but also in selecting patients and ensuring informed choices about treatment options after optimal medical care. In the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), subjects completed 6–10 weeks of comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation before randomization and continued rehabilitation throughout the trial, both at home and with intermittent supervision at either an NETT center or an NETT-certified satellite center. Sessions included a combination of upper and lower extremity exercise, education, and psychosocial support. Before randomization, pulmonary rehabilitation resulted in highly significant changes in exercise capacity, dyspnea, and quality of life. As expected, improvements were significantly greater in those without prior rehabilitation experience. Results for patients completing rehabilitation at satellites were similar to those at NETT centers. Prerandomization pulmonary rehabilitation had a significant effect on outcome after lung volume reduction surgery. NETT identified subgroups with differential outcome by treatment (surgical vs. nonsurgical), defined in part by postrehabilitation maximum exercise capacity. Overall, NETT demonstrated the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in improving function, symptoms, and health status in a large cohort of patients with advanced emphysema treated in a cross-section of programs in the United States.
emphysema; rehabilitation; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
We performed a genome-wide association study in non-Hispanic white subjects with fibrotic idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (N=1616) and controls (N=4683); replication was assessed in 876 cases and 1890 controls. We confirmed association with TERT and MUC5B on chromosomes 5p15 and 11p15, respectively, the chromosome 3q26 region near TERC, and identified 7 novel loci (PMeta = 2.4×10−8 to PMeta = 1.1×10−19). The novel loci include FAM13A (4q22), DSP (6p24), OBFC1 (10q24), ATP11A (13q34), DPP9 (19p13), and chromosomal regions 7q22 and 15q14-15. Our results demonstrate that genes involved in host defense, cell-cell adhesion, and DNA repair contribute to the risk of fibrotic IIP.
Rationale: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) has been demonstrated to provide a functional and mortality benefit to a select group of subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The effect of LVRS on COPD exacerbations has not been as extensively studied, and whether improvement in postoperative lung function alters the risk of disease exacerbations is not known.
Objectives: To examine the effect, and mechanism of potential benefit, of LVRS on COPD exacerbations by comparing the medical and surgical cohorts of the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT).
Methods: A COPD exacerbation was defined using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, discharge diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: There was no difference in exacerbation rate or time to first exacerbation between the medical and surgical cohorts during the year before study randomization (P = 0.58 and 0.85, respectively). Postrandomization, the surgical cohort experienced an approximate 30% reduction in exacerbation frequency (P = 0.0005). This effect was greatest in those subjects with the largest postoperative improvement in FEV1 (P = 0.04) when controlling for changes in other spirometric measures of lung function, lung capacities, and room air arterial blood gas tensions. Finally, LVRS increased the time to first exacerbation in both those subjects with and those without a prior history of exacerbations (P = 0.0002 and P < 0.0001, respectively).
Conclusions: LVRS reduces the frequency of COPD exacerbations and increases the time to first exacerbation. One explanation for this benefit may be the postoperative improvement in lung function.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00000606).
COPD; LVRS; exacerbation
Rationale: COPD is associated with reduced life expectancy.
Objectives: To determine the association between small airway pathology and long-term survival after lung volume reduction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the effect of corticosteroids on this pathology.
Methods: Patients with severe (GOLD-3) and very severe (GOLD-4) COPD (n = 101) were studied after lung volume reduction surgery. Respiratory symptoms, quality of life, pulmonary function, exercise tolerance, chest radiology, and corticosteroid treatment status were assessed preoperatively. The severity of luminal occlusion, wall thickening, and the presence of small airways containing lymphoid follicles were determined in resected lung tissue. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the relationship between survival and small airway pathology. The effect of corticosteroids on this pathology was assessed by comparing treated and untreated groups.
Measurements and Main Results: The quartile of subjects with the greatest luminal occlusion, adjusted for covariates, died earlier than subjects who had the least occlusion (hazard ratio, 3.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.55–6.92; P = 0.002). There was a trend toward a reduction in the number of airways containing lymphoid follicles (P = 0.051) in those receiving corticosteroids, with a statistically significant difference between the control and oral ± inhaled corticosteroid–treated groups (P = 0.019). However, corticosteroid treatment had no effect on airway wall thickening or luminal occlusion.
Conclusions: Occlusion of the small airways by inflammatory exudates containing mucus is associated with early death in patients with severe emphysema treated by lung volume reduction surgery. Corticosteroid treatment dampens the host immune response in these airways by reducing lymphoid follicles without changing wall thickening and luminal occlusion.
premature death in COPD; airway remodeling; mucosal immune response; corticosteroids
Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with accelerated loss of lung function and death. Identification of patients at risk for these events, particularly those requiring hospitalization, is of major importance. Severe pulmonary hypertension is an important complication of advanced COPD and predicts acute exacerbations, though pulmonary vascular abnormalities also occur early in the course of the disease. We hypothesized that a computed tomographic (CT) metric of pulmonary vascular disease (pulmonary artery enlargement, as determined by a ratio of the diameter of the pulmonary artery to the diameter of the aorta [PA:A ratio] of >1) would be associated with severe COPD exacerbations.
We conducted a multicenter, observational trial that enrolled current and former smokers with COPD. We determined the association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history at enrollment of severe exacerbations requiring hospitalization and then examined the usefulness of the ratio as a predictor of these events in a longitudinal follow-up of this cohort, as well as in an external validation cohort. We used logistic-regression and zero-inflated negative binomial regression analyses and adjusted for known risk factors for exacerbation.
Multivariate logistic-regression analysis showed a significant association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history of severe exacerbations at the time of enrollment in the trial (odds ratio, 4.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.43 to 6.65; P<0.001). A PA:A ratio of more than 1 was also independently associated with an increased risk of future severe exacerbations in both the trial cohort (odds ratio, 3.44; 95% CI, 2.78 to 4.25; P<0.001) and the external validation cohort (odds ratio, 2.80; 95% CI, 2.11 to 3.71; P<0.001). In both cohorts, among all the variables analyzed, a PA:A ratio of more than 1 had the strongest association with severe exacerbations.
Pulmonary artery enlargement (a PA:A ratio of >1), as detected by CT, was associated with severe exacerbations of COPD. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00608764 and NCT00292552.)
Gas trapping quantified on chest CT scans has been proposed as a surrogate for small airway disease in COPD. We sought to determine if measurements using paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans may be better able to separate gas trapping due to emphysema from gas trapping due to small airway disease.
Smokers with and without COPD from the COPDGene Study underwent inspiratory and expiratory chest CT scans. Emphysema was quantified by the percent of lung with attenuation < −950HU on inspiratory CT. Four gas trapping measures were defined: (1) Exp−856, the percent of lung < −856HU on expiratory imaging; (2) E/I MLA, the ratio of expiratory to inspiratory mean lung attenuation; (3) RVC856-950, the difference between expiratory and inspiratory lung volumes with attenuation between −856 and −950 HU; and (4) Residuals from the regression of Exp−856 on percent emphysema.
In 8517 subjects with complete data, Exp−856 was highly correlated with emphysema. The measures based on paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans were less strongly correlated with emphysema. Exp−856, E/I MLA and RVC856-950 were predictive of spirometry, exercise capacity and quality of life in all subjects and in subjects without emphysema. In subjects with severe emphysema, E/I MLA and RVC856-950 showed the highest correlations with clinical variables.
Quantitative measures based on paired inspiratory and expiratory chest CT scans can be used as markers of small airway disease in smokers with and without COPD, but this will require that future studies acquire both inspiratory and expiratory CT scans.
Emphysema; Chest CT scan; Small airways; Lung function tests; Smoking
Cachexia, whether assessed by body mass index (BMI) or fat-free mass index (FFMI), affects a significant proportion of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and is an independent risk factor for increased mortality, increased emphysema, and more severe airflow obstruction. The variable development of cachexia among patients with COPD suggests a role for genetic susceptibility. The objective of the present study was to determine genetic susceptibility loci involved in the development of low BMI and FFMI in subjects with COPD. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BMI was conducted in three independent cohorts of European descent with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage II or higher COPD: Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-Points (ECLIPSE; n = 1,734); Norway-Bergen cohort (n = 851); and a subset of subjects from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT; n = 365). A genome-wide association of FFMI was conducted in two of the cohorts (ECLIPSE and Norway). In the combined analyses, a significant association was found between rs8050136, located in the first intron of the fat mass and obesity–associated (FTO) gene, and BMI (P = 4.97 × 10−7) and FFMI (P = 1.19 × 10−7). We replicated the association in a fourth, independent cohort consisting of 502 subjects with COPD from COPDGene (P = 6 × 10−3). Within the largest contributing cohort of our analysis, lung function, as assessed by forced expiratory volume at 1 second, varied significantly by FTO genotype. Our analysis suggests a potential role for the FTO locus in the determination of anthropomorphic measures associated with COPD.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease genetics; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease epidemiology; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease metabolism; genome-wide association study
Rationale: Several family-based studies have identified genetic linkage for lung function and airflow obstruction to chromosome 2q.
Objectives: We hypothesized that merging results of high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping in four separate populations would lead to the identification of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility genes on chromosome 2q.
Methods: Within the chromosome 2q linkage region, 2,843 SNPs were genotyped in 806 COPD cases and 779 control subjects from Norway, and 2,484 SNPs were genotyped in 309 patients with severe COPD from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial and 330 community control subjects. Significant associations from the combined results across the two case-control studies were followed up in 1,839 individuals from 603 families from the International COPD Genetics Network (ICGN) and in 949 individuals from 127 families in the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study.
Measurements and Main Results: Merging the results of the two case-control analyses, 14 of the 790 overlapping SNPs had a combined P < 0.01. Two of these 14 SNPs were consistently associated with COPD in the ICGN families. The association with one SNP, located in the gene XRCC5, was replicated in the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study, with a combined P = 2.51 × 10−5 across the four studies, which remains significant when adjusted for multiple testing (P = 0.02). Genotype imputation confirmed the association with SNPs in XRCC5.
Conclusions: By combining data from COPD genetic association studies conducted in four independent patient samples, we have identified XRCC5, an ATP-dependent DNA helicase, as a potential COPD susceptibility gene.
emphysema; genetic linkage; metaanalysis; single nucleotide polymorphism