, 6:27,
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Date: 19 Dec 2006

Clinical presentation and predictors of outcome in patients with severe acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring admission to intensive care unit

Abstract

Background

Severe acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD) is a common reason for emergency room (ER) visit about which little has been documented from India.

Methods

Prospective study of the clinical presentation and predictors of outcome in 116 patients presenting with severe AE-COPD requiring admission to the medical intensive care unit between January 2000 and December 2004.

Results

Their mean age was 62.1 ± 9.8 years. There were 102 males. Mean duration of COPD was 7.2 ± 5.8 years. All males were smokers (22.3 ± 11.2 pack years); 35.2% smoked cigarettes and 64.8% smoked bidis. All women were exposed to domestic fuel. Associated co-morbid illnesses were present in 81 patients (69.8%); 53(45.7%) had one co-morbid illness and the remaining 28 (54.3%) had two or more co-morbid illnesses. Evidence of past pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) was present in 28.4% patients; 5 patients who also had type II diabetes mellitus had active PTB. Arterial blood gas analysis revealed respiratory failure in 40 (33.8%) patients (type I 17.5% and type II 82.5%). Invasive mechanical ventilation was required in 18 patients. Sixteen (13.7%) patients died. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed need for invasive ventilation (OR 45.809, 95%CI 607.46 to 3.009;p < 0.001); presence of co-morbid illness (OR 0.126, 95%CI 0.428 to 0.037;p < 0.01) and hypercapnia (OR 0.114, 95%CI 1.324 to 0.010;p < 0.05) were predictors of death.

Conclusion

Co-morbid conditions and metabolic abnormalities render the diagnosis of AE-COPD difficult and also contribute to mortality. High prevalence of past PTB and active PTB in patients with AE-COPD suggests an intriguing relationship between smoking, PTB and COPD which merits further study.