© 2016 Santos et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. Exacerbations of COPD represent an important medical and health care problem. Certain susceptible patients suffer recurrent exacerbations and as a consequence have a poorer prognosis. The effects of bronchial infection, either acute or chronic, and of the inflammation characteristic of the disease itself raise the question of the possible role of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents in modulating the course of the disease. However, clinical guidelines base their recommendations on clinical trials that usually exclude more severe patients and patients with more comorbidities, and thus often fail to reflect the reality of clinicians attending more severe patients. In order to discuss aspects of clinical practice of relevance to pulmonologists in the treatment and prevention of recurrent exacerbations in patients with severe COPD, a panel discussion was organized involving expert pulmonologists who devote most of their professional activity to day hospital care. This article summarizes the scientific evidence currently available and the debate generated in relation to the following aspects: bacterial and viral infections, chronic bronchial infection and its treatment with cyclic oral or inhaled antibiotics, inflammatory mechanisms and their treatment, and the role of computerized tomography as a diagnostic tool in patients with severe COPD and frequent exacerbations.
|Journal||International Journal of COPD|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Mar 2016|
- Anti-inflammatory treatment
- Bronchial infection
- COPD exacerbation