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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


FIGUEROA CASAS, Juan Carlos  and  ASOCIACION ARGENTINA DE MEDICINA RESPIRATORIA. Grupo Recomendaciones de EPOC et al. Guidelines for COPD prevention, diagnosis and treatment in Argentina. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.4, suppl.1, pp.1-33. ISSN 0025-7680.

Since morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic costs from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are widely increasing, a group of respiratory medicine specialists was summoned by the AAMR to update basic knowledge on COPD and to issue recommendations for its prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The authors review the definition of COPD together with current knowledge on pathophysiology. Clinical presentation, functional evaluation and imaging are summarized. Early diagnosis through pulmonary function tests -mainly spirometry- and the role of smoking cessation are stressed. Smoking cessation strategies are described as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment. Long acting bronchodilators are considered the first pharmacological option for treatment due to its effectiveness and patient compliance. Inhaled corticosteroids are indicated in combination with long-acting bronchodilators in patients who present persistent airway obstruction associated with frequent exacerbations since they reduce their number although further studies are needed to confirm their cost/benefit. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended in all patients. In the non-pharmacological section, surgery for emphysema is suggested in very specific cases. Respiratory rehabilitation is a useful tool for patients with daily activities limitation. Long-term oxygen therapy at home improves survival in patients with severe chronic hypoxemia. Non-invasive home ventilation in chronic patients has limited indications in specific subgroups. Acute exacerbations should be aggressively treated with bronchodilators, oxygen, antibiotics, corticosteroids and eventually mechanical ventilation, as invasive as not invasive respiratory support. The importance of public education as well as of individual patients and their families is deemed essential in the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Keywords : Recommendations; Guidelines; Consensus; COPD; Emphysema; Prevention; Diagnosis; Treatment.

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