BMC Pulm Med. 2021 Mar 2;21(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12890-021-01443-4.
BACKGROUND: Blood eosinophil count may predict treatment response in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during acute exacerbations (AE). However, the ability and thresholds of blood eosinophil counts in stable status to predict eosinophilic AECOPD have not been completely investigated.
METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter study performed January 2010 to December 2014. COPD subjects hospitalized with exacerbations, were included. Blood samples were obtained at the time of AE and stable disease at outpatient clinic before or after admission. We identified a blood eosinophil count cut-off point at stable COPD, either taken as a percentage or as absolute value, for identification of eosinophilic exacerbation.
RESULTS: There was significant positive correlation of eosinophil counts between stable COPD and AECOPD. The best cut-off value of blood eosinophil count in stable status for the prediction of eosinophilic COPD exacerbation based on blood eosinophil count ≥ 2% was 300 cells/µL (area under the ROC curve [AUC] 0.614, P = 0.001, 39% sensitivity, 83.8% specificity). When the eosinophilic COPD exacerbation was based on blood eosinophil count ≥ 300 cells/µL, the best cut-off value of blood eosinophil count in stable status for the prediction of eosinophilic COPD exacerbation was also 300 cells/uL (AUC 0.634, P = 0.046, 45.8% sensitivity, 80.9% specificity).
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated association between blood eosinophil counts at stable COPD and those with AECOPD. The thresholds of blood counts at stable COPD to predict eosinophilic exacerbations was 300 cells/µL. Further and prospective studies in other populations should validate our results.