Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 238-242

Abrupt withdrawal of inhaled corticosteroids does not result in spirometric deterioration in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Effect of phenotyping?


1 Medical Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
2 Medical Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Pathology Department, Saudi Arabia
4 Family and Community Medicine Department Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Feisal A Al-Kassimi
Department of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O. Box-94357, Riyadh-11693
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.102185

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Background and Objective: Some studies show a decline of FEV 1 only one month after withdrawal of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), while others show no decline. We speculate that the presence of an asthma phenotype in the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) population, and that its exclusion may result in no spirometric deterioration. Methods: We performed a prospective clinical observation study on 32 patients who fulfilled the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive lung disease definition of COPD (Grade II-IV). They were divided into two phenotypic groups. 1. Irreversible asthma (A and B) (n = 13): A. Asthma: Bronchial biopsy shows diffuse thickening of basement membrane (≥ 6.6 ΅m). B. Airflow limitation (AFL) likely to be asthma: KCO > 80% predicted if the patient refused biopsy. 2. COPD (A and B) (n = 19): A. COPD: hypercapneic respiratory failure with raised bicarbonate, panlobular emphysema with multiple bullas, or bronchial biopsy showing squamous metaplasia and epithelial/subepithelial inflammation without thickening of the basement membrane. B. AFL likely to be COPD: KCO < 80% predicted. Results: The asthma phenotype was significantly younger, had a strong association with hypertrophy of nasal turbinates, and registered a significant improvement of FEV 1 (350 ml) vs a decline of - 26.5 ml in the COPD phenotype following therapy with budesonide/formoterol for one year. Withdrawal of budesonide for 4 weeks in the COPD phenotype resulted in FEV 1 + 1.33% (SD ΁ 5.71) and FVC + 1.24% (SD ΁ 5.32); a change of <12% in all patients. Conclusions: We recorded no spirometric deterioration after exclusion of the asthma phenotype from a COPD group.


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