II. Monitoring

  1. Symptoms: Dyspnea
    1. mMRC Dyspnea Index
    2. COPD Assessment Test (CAT Tool)
  2. Exam
    1. Pulse Oximetry
    2. Timed walking of specific distances
  3. Spirometry
    1. Serial FEV1 Measurements are most significant value
    2. FEV1 <1 Liter indicates severe disease
    3. Poor prognosis if FEV1 <750 cc (<50% predicted)
  4. Goals
    1. Decrease Dyspnea
    2. Improve quality of life
    3. Prevent exacerbations
    4. Decrease hospitalizations
    5. Slow disease progression and decrease mortality

III. Prevention

  1. See COPD Exacerbation Prevention
  2. Immunizations
    1. Influenza Vaccine yearly
    2. Pneumococcal Vaccine
  3. Tobacco Cessation!
    1. Single most important intervention
    2. Decreases FEV1 decline and mortality
    3. Make use of Smoking Cessation adjuncts (Bupropion, Varenicline, Nicotine Replacement)
    4. Educating patients about their lung age (estimated via Spirometry) is effective motivation
      1. Parkes (2008) BMJ 336(7644): 598-600 [PubMed]
  4. Pulmonary Rehabilitation
    1. Indicated in moderate to severe COPD with Dyspnea-limited activities or impaired quality of life
    2. Includes Pulmonary Rehabilitation Exercise, nutritional counseling, education and behavioral modification
    3. Reduces Dyspnea, improves Exercise ability and improves quality of life if continued for at least 6 months
      1. Salman (2003) J Gen Intern Med 18(3): 213-21 [PubMed]

IV. Management: GOLD Criteria - Low Risk

  1. See GOLD Combined Assessment
  2. See Medications in COPD Management
  3. Low risk criteria
    1. Spirometry Mild to Moderate Severity (FEV1 >50% of predicted) AND
    2. One or none COPD exacerbation per year AND
    3. No hospitalizations
  4. Less Symptoms (GOLD A): mMRC Dyspnea Scale <2 or COPD Assessment Test <10
    1. First-choice (intermittent symptom management)
      1. Short-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Albuterol) 2 puffs as needed up to every 6 hours OR
      2. Short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Ipratropium) as needed up to every 6 hours
    2. Second-choice
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) OR
      2. Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) OR
      3. Combined Short-acting Beta Agonist with short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Combivent)
    3. Other choices
      1. Theophylline
  5. More Symptoms (GOLD B): mMRC Dyspnea Scale 2 or COPD Assessment Test 10 or higher
    1. First-choice (long-acting symptom management)
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) OR
      2. Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium)
    2. Second-choice
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) AND Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) OR
      2. Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and vilanterol) OR
      3. Stiolto Respimat (Tiotropium and olodaterol)
    3. Third-choice
      1. Combined Short-acting Beta Agonist with short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Combivent) OR
      2. Short-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Albuterol) 2 puffs as needed up to every 6 hours AND/OR
      3. Short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Ipratropium) as needed up to every 6 hours
    4. Other choices
      1. Theophylline

V. Management: GOLD Criteria - High Risk

  1. See GOLD Combined Assessment
  2. See Medications in COPD Management
  3. High risk criteria
    1. Spirometry Severe to Very Severe (FEV1 <50% of predicted) AND
    2. Two or more COPD exacerbation per year or one or more hospitalizations
  4. Less Symptoms (GOLD C): mMRC Dyspnea Scale <2 or COPD Assessment Test <10
    1. First-Choice (guidelines changing in 2017 to prefer the second choice, non-steroid combination)
      1. Long acting beta agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) or Long acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) AND
      2. Inhaled Corticosteroid (e.g. fluticasone or Flovent)
        1. See Medications in COPD Management for Inhaled Corticosteroid precautions
    2. Second-Choice
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) AND Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) OR
      2. Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and vilanterol) OR
      3. Stiolto Respimat (Tiotropium and olodaterol)
    3. Third-Choice
      1. Short-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Albuterol) 2 puffs as needed up to every 6 hours OR
      2. Short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Ipratropium) as needed up to every 6 hours
    4. Other choices
      1. Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitor (e.g. Roflumilast or Daliresp)
      2. Theophylline
  5. More Symptoms (GOLD D): mMRC Dyspnea Scale 2 or COPD Assessment Test 10 or higher
    1. First-Choice (guidelines changing in 2017 to prefer the second choice, non-steroid combination)
      1. Long acting beta agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) or Long acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) AND
      2. Inhaled Corticosteroid (e.g. fluticasone or Flovent)
        1. See Medications in COPD Management for Inhaled Corticosteroid precautions
    2. Second-Choice
      1. Inhaled Corticosteroid AND
      2. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) AND Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium)
        1. Alternative: Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and vilanterol) once daily
      3. Add Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitor (e.g. Roflumilast or Daliresp) to the first-choice regimen
    3. Third-Choice
      1. Short-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Albuterol) 2 puffs as needed up to every 6 hours OR
      2. Short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Ipratropium) as needed up to every 6 hours
    4. Other choices
      1. Theophylline

VI. Management: Stepped care of Dyspnea

  1. See Medications in COPD Management
  2. At risk: Stage 0 (Normal Pulmonary Function Tests)
    1. Chronic intermittent symptoms
    2. Eliminate exposures (e.g. Tobacco)
  3. Mild: Stage I (FEV1/FVC <0.7, FEV1>80%) - Intermittent symptoms management
    1. Short-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Albuterol) 2 puffs as needed up to every 6 hours OR
    2. Short-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Ipratropium) as needed up to every 6 hours
  4. Moderate: Stage II (FEV1/FVC <0.7, FEV1 50-80%)
    1. Add to Stage I management
    2. Long acting beta agonist (e.g. Salmeterol or Serevent) or Long acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium or Spiriva)
    3. Patients benefit most during daytime active hours
      1. Consider dosing only in morning to save cost
      2. However, sleep is improved
  5. Severe: Stage III (FEV1/FVC <0.7, FEV1 30-50%)
    1. Add to Stage I and II management (short acting beta agonist and long acting beta agonist)
    2. Inhaled Corticosteroid (e.g. fluticasone or Flovent)
      1. See Medications in COPD Management for Inhaled Corticosteroid precautions
    3. Consider using both a long acting beta agonist and a long acting Anticholinergic
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) AND Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) OR
      2. Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and vilanterol) OR
      3. Stiolto Respimat (Tiotropium and olodaterol)
    4. Low-flow oxygen at night and with exertion
    5. Pulmonary Rehabilitation
    6. Consider Systemic Bronchodilator
      1. Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist (e.g. Accolate)
      2. Theophylline (see efficacy below)
  6. Very severe: Stage IV (FEV1/FVC <0.7, FEV1 <30%)
    1. Add to Stage I, II and III management (short acting beta agonist, long acting beta agonist, Inhaled Corticosteroid)
    2. Continuous Low-flow oxygen
    3. Consider adding Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitor (e.g. Roflumilast or Daliresp)
    4. Consider using both a long acting beta agonist and a long acting Anticholinergic
      1. Long-acting Beta Agonist (e.g. Salmeterol) AND Long-acting Anticholinergic (e.g. Tiotropium) OR
      2. Anoro Ellipta (Umeclidinium and vilanterol) OR
      3. Stiolto Respimat (Tiotropium and olodaterol)
    5. Consider less efficacious methods for Dyspnea
      1. Buspirone as Anxiolytic agent
      2. Sustained release oral Morphine 20 mg daily
        1. Use with caution, studies are preliminary
        2. Abernethy (2003) BMJ 327:523-6 [PubMed]
  7. Crisis Management
    1. See Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Bronchitis
    2. Beta agonist up to 6 to 8 puffs q1-2 hours
    3. Ipratropium Bromide up to 6 to 8 puffs q3-4 hours
    4. Systemic Corticosteroids for 5-10 days (see below)
    5. Theophylline
      1. See Medications in COPD Management for efficacy and safety
    6. Oxygen therapy: Do not limit FIO2 in CO2 retainers
      1. Set O2 Sat goal of 88-91%
      2. Anticipate CO2 rise of 12 points
      3. Consider BiPap for pH < 7.25

VII. Management: Protocols

  1. Exacerbation Guidelines
    1. See Stepped Management as above
    2. See Antibiotic Use in COPD Exacerbation
    3. Do not define exacerbation severity by Spirometry
    4. Consider Chest XRay in hospitalized patients
    5. Prednisone 40 mg orally daily (5 day course is typical)
      1. Five day course of 40 mg daily is sufficient for most COPD exacerbations
        1. Leuppi (2013) JAMA 309(21):2223-31 [PubMed]
      2. Ten day course reduces relapse rate after COPD evaluation in ER
        1. Aaron (2003) N Engl J Med 348:2618-25 [PubMed]
    6. Avoid low efficacy therapies
      1. Mucolytic medications are not shown helpful
      2. Chest physiotherapy is not efficacious
      3. Theophylline not helpful in exacerbations
    7. References
      1. Snow (2001) Chest 119:1185-9 [PubMed]
  2. Maintenance Guidelines
    1. Before Intervention
      1. Test Spirometry
      2. Review Patient's symptoms
    2. Initiate Trial of Intervention
    3. After Intervention
      1. Recheck Spirometry
      2. Were Patient's symptoms improved?

VIII. Management: Surgical Interventions

  1. Lung transplantation
  2. Lung Volume reduction surgery
    1. High Risk Surgery (high mortality)
    2. Indicated in severe upper lobe predominant Emphysema and low post-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Exercise capacity
    3. Improves 5 year survival in severe COPD with heterogeneous distribution of Emphysema and upper lobe predominance
      1. Improved quality of life if BODE Index >5
      2. Sanchez (2010) J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 140(3): 564-72 [PubMed]
    4. Worse prognosis (increased 30 day mortality) if FEV1 <20% predicted, low DLCO or homogenous Emphysema
      1. (2001) N Engl J Med 345(15): 1075-83 [PubMed]

IX. Management: Other Interventions

  1. Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitor (e.g. Roflumilast or Daliresp)
    1. Indicated in severe, refractory COPD with frequent exacerbations
    2. NNT: 24 severe COPD patients to prevent 1 hospitalization per year
      1. Field (2011) Circ Respir Pulm Med 5: 57–70 [PubMed]
  2. Beta Blockers
    1. Despite prior relative contraindication in COPD
      1. Cardioselective Beta Blockers (e.g. Metoprolol, bisoprolol) improve COPD status
    2. Associated with decreased COPD exacerbations and increased survival
    3. Farland (2013) Ann Pharmacother 47(5):651-6 [PubMed]

X. Management: Excessive upper airway secretions

  1. Mucolytics (e.g. Guaifenesin)
    1. Reduces days of illness per month by 1/2 day
    2. Doubles chance of being free of exacerbations
    3. Poole (2001) BMJ 322:1-6 [PubMed]
  2. N-Acetylcysteine (for thick secretions)
    1. Dose: 600-1200 mg/day in divided dosing
    2. Decramer (2005) Lancet 365(9470):1552-60 [PubMed]
  3. Intranasal Steroid
    1. Consider if considerable airway phlegm

XI. Resources

XII. Prognosis

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