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Serum inflammatory biomarkers and clinical outcomes of COPD exacerbation caused by different pathogens

Authors Kawamatawong T, Apiwattanaporn A, Siricharoonwong W

Received 11 January 2017

Accepted for publication 3 April 2017

Published 31 May 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1625—1630


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Theerasuk Kawamatawong,1 Apitch Apiwattanaporn,2 Warisara Siricharoonwong2

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Background and objective: COPD exacerbation is characterized by worsening of symptoms, warranting change in treatment. Systemic and airway inflammation play roles in the pathogenesis of COPD exacerbation. We hypothesized whether increased serum inflammatory biomarkers are associated with the clinical outcomes of COPD exacerbation caused by different infectious pathogens.
Methods: COPD patients with exacerbation were recruited from a hospital emergency department during 2014–2015. Serum procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured. Dyspnea, eosinopenia, consolidation, acidemia, and atrial fibrillation (DECAF) score was calculated for predicting mortality. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction was carried out for respiratory viral assay from nasopharyngeal swabs, and sputum bacterial culture was also performed. Hospital mortality, invasive mechanical ventilation requirement, and length of hospital stay (LOS) were evaluated, and their associations with clinical characteristics, DECAF score, and serum biomarkers were examined.
Results: A total of 62 COPD patients were enrolled. These patients were classified as Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage 2, 3, and 4 in 12.9%, 6.4%, and 80.7% of cases, respectively. Isolated bacterial exacerbation was recovered in 30.6% of exacerbation episodes: Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most commonly identified bacteria. Viral pathogens and coinfections were noted in 9.6% and 16.1% of exacerbated patients, respectively. Influenza was the most commonly detected viral pathogen. Serum biomarkers and DECAF score for viruses, bacteria, coinfection, and noninfectious causes of exacerbations were similar. Neither DECAF score nor serum biomarkers were able to differentiate patients with and without mortality or requiring mechanical ventilation. Increased serum PCT was noted in patients with LOS ≥7 days when compared with those with LOS <7 days (0.38 ng/mL vs 0.1 ng/mL; P=0.035).
Conclusion: Increased serum PCT is associated with longer LOS in COPD exacerbation. However, CRP and DECAF score play limited roles in predicting clinical outcome and lack an association with causes of exacerbation.

Keywords: biomarkers, inflammation, viruses, bacteria, COPD exacerbation, outcome

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