, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 139-144
Date: 23 Jun 2013

Pathophysiology Updates for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Abstract

New insights into cellular and molecular mechanisms have recently emerged, leading respiratory physicians to re-examine and even revise current phenotype classifications of COPD. Studying mechanisms of COPD must now go beyond mere enumeration of separate pathophysiological features, for example airflow limitation, air trapping, and inhomogeneity of ventilation distribution. Rather, how to precisely define various phenotypes of COPD patients should become the main objective for all respiratory physicians, because accurate phenotypes will lead to better cures and, hence, better prognosis for COPD patients. During the last decade respiratory physicians have gained much insight into COPD pathophysiology. Yet we are still far from mastering effective biological tools, including genetic and molecular fingerprints readily available for all patients for easy diagnosis and effective prevention of worsening of COPD.