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New Guidelines for Spotting, Treating COPD Released
Date:8/2/2011

hile exhaling (a measure called FEV1). "Spirometry is not beneficial in patients who do not have respiratory symptoms even if they have risk factors," Qaseem said.

Patients with COPD who don't have symptoms shouldn't be treated as no real benefit has been shown.

Patients whose FEV1 is less than 60 percent and who also have symptoms can get better outcomes with inhaled beta-agonists, anticholinergics and corticosteroids.

These same drugs may benefit patients with an FEV1 of 60 percent to 80 percent, though the evidence here is not as strong.

When FEV1 drops below 50 percent, patients with symptoms may benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation.

And for patients who have severe shortness of breath, doctors should prescribe oxygen.

More information

The American Lung Association has more on COPD.

SOURCES: Amir Qaseem, M.D., Ph.D., director, clinical policy, Medical Education Division, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia; Sandhya Khurana, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, pulmonary and critical care division, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York; Aug. 2, 2011, Annals of Internal Medicine


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New Guidelines for Spotting, Treating COPD Released
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