Fibrinogen as a potential biomarker for clinical phenotype in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Tae Hoon Kim, Dong Kyu Oh, Yeon-Mok Oh, Sei Won Lee, Sang Do Lee, Jae Seung Lee


Background: Under the Food and Drug Administration’s drug development tool qualification program, fibrinogen is the first biomarker drug development tool used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the correlation between fibrinogen and exacerbations among Korean patients with COPD remains unclear.
Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we included patients with COPD for whom plasma fibrinogen assessment results, without exacerbation, were available. Then, we compared subgroups according to fibrinogen level (threshold: 350 mg/dL). We used multivariate linear regression analysis to investigate the clinical phenotype of COPD with high fibrinogen level, analyzed the correlation between the COPD severity indexes and fibrinogen level.
Results: Of 140 patients, we confirmed 48 (34.3%) patients in the high-level fibrinogen group. The high-level group demonstrated a medical history of more exacerbations than the low-level group. Lung functions [forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity, and 6-minute walk distance] were more deteriorated in the high-level group. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that fibrinogen level was associated with high COPD assessment test score, and experience of exacerbation. Fibrinogen level exhibited a statistically significant positive correlation with COPD severity indexes.
Conclusions: High fibrinogen level seems to reflect frequent exacerbation and severe symptomatic phenotypes in Korean patients with COPD.