Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About COPD?

Amanda M. K. Godfrey, MD 


June 29, 2016

Long-term oxygen therapy improves survival twofold or more in hypoxemic patients with COPD, according to two landmark trials, the British Medical Research Council study and the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy Trial. Hypoxemia is defined as partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood of <55 mm Hg or oxygen saturation of <90%. Oxygen was used for 15-19 hours per day.

Infections can lead to COPD exacerbations. Vaccinations are a safe and effective modality to reduce infections in susceptible COPD patients. The pneumococcal vaccine should be offered to all patients older than 65 years or to patients of any age who have an FEV1 of less than 40% of predicted. The influenza vaccine should be given annually to all COPD patients.

Intravenous alpha-1 antitrypsin augmentation therapy is the only available approach that can increase serum levels to >11 mmol/L, the protective threshold.

Cardiovascular disease is common in patients with COPD and is a leading cause of mortality; however, beta-blockers are not widely used in these patients due to a perceived risk for bronchospasm and concern about inhibition of beta-agonist medication, despite some studies that show efficacy.

For more on the treatment of COPD, read here.

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