, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 259-264
Date: 12 Feb 2013

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of blood serum in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major global health challenge with a gloom perspective of being one of the big three cause of death by 2020. No reliable/reproducible biomarker has been identified so far to match the clinically-based staging system (GOLD). Blood samples of 30 subjects divided into 6 groups (no-COPD/-smoker, no-COPD/non-smoker, COPD I, COPD II, COPD III, COPD IV) with 5 patients in each were tested by differential scanning calorimetry. There is a clear 15.4 % difference between the heat flow maxima measured when no-COPD subjects were compared in accordance to their smoking/non-smoking status. Odds ratio of different heat flow in actively smoking COPD patients in stage IV and stage I was 1.61. A reverse tendency is detected in the relevant non-smoking COPD groups. The differences are inconsistent in intermediate stages (COPD II and III). DSC seems to be an applicable and objective method for monitoring nicotine abuse. There is a chance to detect specific typology of thermokinetic patterns in the two extremes of COPD (I vs. IV). Further studies with increased sample size are needed to allow calculations on specificity/sensitivity/positive and negative predictive value of enthalpies and heat flow maximums. The first clinically relevant blood-based COPD marker on the intravascular side of the alveo-capillary screen is demonstrated by our pilot study.