Time-Updated Phenotypic Guidance of Corticosteroids and Antibiotics in COPD: Rationale, Perspective and a Proposed Method

Link to article at PubMed

Biomedicines. 2023 May 8;11(5):1395. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11051395.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease with distinct phenotypes, each having distinct treatment needs. Eosinophilic airway inflammation is present in a subset of COPD patients in whom it can act as a driver of exacerbations. Blood eosinophil counts are a reliable way to identify patients with an eosinophilic phenotype, and these measurements have proven to be successful in guiding the use of corticosteroids in moderate and severe COPD exacerbations. Antibiotic use in COPD patients induces a risk of Clostridium difficile infection, diarrhea, and antibiotic resistance. Procalcitonin could possibly guide antibiotic treatment in patients admitted with AECOPD. Current studies in COPD patients were successful in reducing exposure to antibiotics with no changes in mortality or length of stay. Daily monitoring of blood eosinophils is a safe and effective way to reduce oral corticosteroid exposure and side effects for acute exacerbations. No evidence on time-updated treatment guidance for stable COPD exists yet, but a current trial is testing an eosinophil-guided approach on inhaled corticosteroid use. Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic treatment in AECOPD shows promising results in safely and substantially reducing antibiotic exposure both in time-independent and time-updated algorithms.

PMID:37239067 | DOI:10.3390/biomedicines11051395

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