Fast Five Quiz: COPD Presentation and Diagnosis

Zab Mosenifar, MD

Disclosures

April 27, 2021

Although the terms "sputum" and "mucus" are often used interchangeably, they are in fact distinct substances. A variety of mechanisms leads to hyperproduction of mucus in COPD. "Sputum" describes the expectorated secretions.

Patients with COPD normally produce sputum that is clear.

The hyperproduction of mucus is compounded by difficulty in clearing secretions owing to several factors, including an ineffective cough secondary to reduced peak expiratory flow and respiratory muscle weakness. Poor ciliary function and distal airway occlusion also can hamper the ability to clear secretions.

Bacterial infection can lead to mucus hypersecretion in COPD. Other triggers include exposure to cigarette smoke, acute and chronic viral infection, and inflammatory cell activation of mucin gene transcription.

Learn more details about the presentation of COPD.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....