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Heterogeneity of asthma–COPD overlap syndrome

Authors Joo H, Han D, Lee JH, Rhee CK

Received 22 December 2016

Accepted for publication 30 January 2017

Published 22 February 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 697—703

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S130943

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Hyonsoo Joo,1 Deokjae Han,1 Jae Ha Lee,2 Chin Kook Rhee1

1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, 2Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

Abstract: Many patients suffering from asthma or COPD have overlapping features of both diseases. However, a phenotypical approach for evaluating asthma–COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS) has not been established. In this report, we examined the phenotypes in patients with ACOS. Patients diagnosed with ACOS between 2011 and 2015 were identified and ­classified into four phenotype groups. Group A was composed of patients who smoked <10 pack years and had blood eosinophil counts ≥300. Group B was composed of patients who smoked <10 pack years and had blood eosinophil counts <300. Group C was composed of patients who smoked ≥10 pack years and had blood eosinophil counts ≥300. Group D was composed of patients who smoked ≥10 pack years and had blood eosinophil counts <300. Clinical characteristics were analyzed and compared among groups. Comparisons were made among 103 ACOS patients. Patients in group D were oldest, while patients in group A were youngest. There were relatively more female patients in groups A and B; the majority of patients in groups C and D were male. The degree of airflow obstruction was most severe in group C. The rate of being free of severe exacerbation was significantly lower in group C than in the other groups. In this study, each ACOS phenotype showed different characteristics. The proportion of patients free of severe exacerbation differed significantly among groups. At this time, further studies on the phenotypes of ACOS are required.

Keywords: phenotype, smoking, eosinophil, exacerbation

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