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Minerva Medica 2016 June;107(3 Suppl 1):1-6

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Towards a multi-dimensional approach to COPD

Alessandro ZANFORLIN 1, Claudio SORINO 2, Giuseppe F. SFERRAZZA PAPA 3, 4

1 Multidisciplinary Medical Department, San Luca Hospital, Trecenta, Rovigo, Italy; 2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Palermo, V. Cervello Hospital, Villa Sofia Hospitals, Palermo, Italy; 3 Dipartimento di Scienze Neuroriabilitative, Casa di Cura del Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 4 Respiratory Unit, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, Dipartimento Scienze della Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy


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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of mortality worldwide. Clinical features of the disease include exertional dyspnea and chronic cough, while persistent airflow obstruction detected at spirometry is the defining element of the disease. Notably, subjects with smoke exposure and symptoms, but normal FEV1/FVC ratio (previously classified as “stage 0” by the GOLD classification), are not considered affected and do not require treatment according to guidelines. The recent GeneCOPD study suggested that a proportion of this population might present significant radiological features of respiratory disease. This commentary article focuses on the possible future role of chest imaging, including ultrasound of the respiratory muscles, integrated with additional functional tests, such as body plethysmography and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide of the lungs (DLCO), in a multidimensional assessment of COPD.

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