Management of chronic airway diseases: What can we learn from real-life data?

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (hereafter referred to as bronchiectasis) are distinct but related airway diseases:

COPD is characterised by persistent and usually progressive airflow limitation associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and lung to noxious particles or gases (1). COPD is a clinical and physiological diagnosis.

AATD is a genetic disorder that causes defective production of alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT), leading to decreased AAT activity in the blood and lungs and deposition of excessive abnormal AAT protein in liver cells (2). AATD is a laboratory diagnosis.

Bronchiectasis is characterised by the presence of airway dilatation and wall thickening on imaging (e.g. computed tomography [CT]), with persistent or recurrent bronchial infection (3). Bronchiectasis is a pathological or radiological diagnosis.

Despite differences in the pathobiology of these conditions, they share many of the same clinical features and many of the same challenges. A definitive diagnosis is often complicated by symptom non-specificity as illustrated in a case study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S2
Number of pages2
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2017


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