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Exploring 'clinical conundrum' of asthma-COPD overlap in nonsmokers with chronic asthma

Date:
August 5, 2015
Source:
American College of Chest Physicians
Summary:
Researchers may be closer to finding the mechanism responsible for loss of lung elastic recoil and airflow limitation in nonsmokers with chronic asthma. The study reported that both nonsmokers and smokers with chronic asthma share features of COPD. This conundrum, often referred to as asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, has been assumed to be due to large and especially small airway remodeling.
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Researchers may be closer to finding the mechanism responsible for loss of lung elastic recoil and airflow limitation in nonsmokers with chronic asthma. The study published in the journal CHEST Unraveling the Pathophysiology of the Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome reported that both nonsmokers and smokers with chronic asthma share features of COPD. This conundrum, often referred to as asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS), has been assumed to be due to large and especially small airway remodeling.

The study found that many patients with asthma are at risk for COPD due to a proinflammatory and proteolytic cascade. This may lead to lung tissue breakdown and unsuspected diffuse, mild centrilobular emphysema that is not easily detected clinically.

While these characteristics of airflow obstruction are common in smokers, the mechanisms responsible for lung elastic recoil and persistent expiratory airflow limitation in nonsmokers remains unknown. Current knowledge about ACOS lack structure-function studies, which researchers believe may help to better unravel the mechanisms of ACOS.


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Materials provided by American College of Chest Physicians. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arthur F. Gelb, Alfred Yamamoto, Eric K. Verbeken, Jay A. Nadel. Unraveling the Pathophysiology of the Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome. CHEST Journal, 2015; 148 (2): 313 DOI: 10.1378/chest.14-2483

Cite This Page:

American College of Chest Physicians. "Exploring 'clinical conundrum' of asthma-COPD overlap in nonsmokers with chronic asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805155732.htm>.
American College of Chest Physicians. (2015, August 5). Exploring 'clinical conundrum' of asthma-COPD overlap in nonsmokers with chronic asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805155732.htm
American College of Chest Physicians. "Exploring 'clinical conundrum' of asthma-COPD overlap in nonsmokers with chronic asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805155732.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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