Update on management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Ritwick Agrawal, Shahram Moghtader, Uma Ayyala, Venkata Bandi, Amir Sharafkhaneh


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major chronic debilitating condition with significant impact on quality of life, symptoms, comorbidity, health care utilization and longevity. The main pathophysiological hallmark of COPD is expiratory flow limitation which impairs the ability of respiratory system to adequately and properly ventilate. To be able to prognosticate and manage patients with COPD, various societies have developed classifications of disease severity. Current classification schemes combine three elements that include lung function, patient reported symptoms (shortness of breath) and frequency of exacerbations. Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), an international guideline for diagnosis and management of COPD, started using this approach since the 2011 revision. Management according to this scheme has been developed and is in use. Comprehensive COPD management is multifaceted. It includes pharmacologic management, patient education, smoking cessation, influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations, depression and anxiety management, pulmonary rehabilitation, and if indicated, home oxygen therapy. The following chapter will review management recommendations currently in use for stable COPD. We intend to make the chapter to the point and practical and avoid an exhaustive review of the literature.