Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 15

Early Clinically Important Improvement (ECII) and Exacerbation Outcomes in COPD Patients

Authors Kostikas K, Mackay AJ, Vogelmeier CF, Frent SM, Gupta P, Banerji D, Patalano F, Pfister PJ, Wedzicha JA

Received 1 February 2020

Accepted for publication 2 July 2020

Published 28 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1831—1838


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Konstantinos Kostikas,1 Alexander J Mackay,2 Claus F Vogelmeier,3 Stefan-Marian Frent,4 Pritam Gupta,5 Donald Banerji,6 Francesco Patalano,7 Pascal J Pfister,7 Jadwiga A Wedzicha8

1Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece; 2National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK; 3Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Marburg, Germany; 4Department of Pulmonology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania; 5Novartis Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, India; 6Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 7Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland; 8Respiratory Clinical Science Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK

Correspondence: Konstantinos Kostikas
Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina 45110, Greece
Tel +30-6944780616

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations are difficult outcomes to measure in clinical trials. It would be valuable to be able to predict which patients are likely to benefit in terms of exacerbation prevention based on their early response in lung function and symptoms.
Methods: This was a post-hoc analysis from the 52-week, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, non-inferiority FLAME trial. Early clinically important improvement (ECII) was defined as achievement of minimal clinically important difference in trough forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1; ≥ 100 mL increase) and one patient-reported outcome (PRO): either St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (≥ 4-unit reduction; D1), or COPD assessment test (≥ 2-point reduction; D2) at Week 4 or 12.
Results: Approximately 18– 20% of patients achieved ECII at Week 4 or 12 post-randomization according to any of the two definitions. The rate of subsequent exacerbations was lower in patients who achieved ECII at Week 4 (D1: ratio of rates [95% CI], 0.85 [0.74 to 0.98]; D2, 0.88 [0.77 to 1.00]) or at Week 12 (D1, 0.85 [0.74 to 0.98]; D2, 0.86 [0.75 to 1.00]) versus patients not achieving ECII. Patients who achieved ECII experienced longer time-to-first exacerbation between Week 4 or 12 to end of study. More patients achieved ECII with indacaterol/glycopyrronium versus salmeterol/fluticasone according to both definitions at Week 4 (D1, odds ratio [95% CI], 1.69 [1.40 to 2.04]; D2, 1.61 [1.34 to 1.93]), and 12 (D1, 2.01 [1.66 to 2.44]; D2, 1.80 [1.48 to 2.18]).
Conclusion: ECII is a novel composite endpoint, based on clinically relevant improvement in lung function and PROs in the early phase of treatment intervention that may predict subsequent exacerbation risk and may be used in clinical trials.

Keywords: exacerbations, ECII, indacaterol/glycopyrronium, lung function, PROs

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]