Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Exploratory analysis of requests for authorization to dispense high-cost medication to COPD patients: the São Paulo

Análise exploratória de solicitações de autorização para dispensação de medicação de alto custo para portadores de DPOC:

Regina Maria Carvalho-Pinto11,a, Ingredy Tavares da Silva1,2,b, Lucas Yoshio Kido Navacchia1,c, Flavia Munhos Granja1,2,d, Gustavo Garcia Marques1,2,e, Telma de Cassia dos Santos Nery1,f, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes1,g, Alberto Cukier1,h, Rafael Stelmach1,i

J Bras Pneumol.2019;45(6):e20180355-e20180355

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: A resolution passed by the government of the Brazilian state of São Paulo established a protocol for requesting free COPD medications, including tiotropium bromide, creating regional authorization centers to evaluate and approve such requests, given the high cost of those medications. Our objective was to analyze the requests received by an authorization center that serves cities in the greater metropolitan area of (the city of) São Paulo between 2011 and 2016. Methods: Data regarding the authorization, return, or rejection of the requests were compiled and analyzed in order to explain those outcomes. Subsequently, the clinical and functional data related to the patients were evaluated. Results: A total of 7,762 requests for dispensing COPD medication were analyzed. Requests related to male patients predominated. Among the corresponding patients, the mean age was 66 years, 12% were smokers, 88% had frequent exacerbations, and 84% had severe/very severe dyspnea. The mean FEV1 was 37.2% of the predicted value. The total number of requests decreased by 24.5% from 2012 to 2013 and was lowest in 2015. Most (65%) of the requests were accepted. The main reasons for the rejection/return of a request were a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio > 0.7, a post-bronchodilator FEV1 > 50% of the predicted value, and failure to provide information regarding previous use of a long-acting β2 agonist. During the study period, the total number of requests returned/rejected decreased slightly, and there was improvement in the quality of the data included on the forms. Conclusions: Here, we have identified the characteristics of the requests for COPD medications and of the corresponding patients per region served by the authorization center analyzed, thus contributing to the improvement of local public health care measures.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Clinical protocols; Drug costs; Tiotropium bromide.


Comparing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in terms of symptoms of anxiety and depression

Asma e doença pulmonar obstrutiva crônica: uma comparação entre variáveis de ansiedade e depressão

Neide Suzane Carvalho, Priscila Robles Ribeiro, Marcos Ribeiro, Maria do Patrocínio Tenório Nunes, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach

J Bras Pneumol.2007;33(1):1-6

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Objective: To evaluate the presence and severity of symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Methods: In order to evaluate symptoms of anxiety and depression, specific instruments of quantification (the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory, respectively) were administered to patients at an outpatient clinic for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The population comprised 189 randomly and prospectively selected patients that were divided into three study groups (each with a different therapeutic objective): 40 patients with controlled asthma, 100 patients with uncontrolled asthma, and 49 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Included among the variables studied, as part of the methodology, were symptoms of anxiety and depression. The data obtained were compared taking into consideration demographic and functional aspects, as well as the severity of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Results: Among the asthma patients, the prevalence of moderate or severe anxiety was significantly higher than that observed among those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p <  0.001). The uncontrolled asthma group presented significantly higher rates of depressive symptoms than did the controlled asthma group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The frequency of symptoms of anxiety and depression is greater among asthma patients than among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can make clinical control difficult.


Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Asthma; Pulmonary disease; Chronic obstructive


Pharmaceutical care for patients with persistent asthma: assessment of treatment compliance and use of inhaled medications

Atenção farmacêutica ao portador de asma persistente: avaliação da aderência ao tratamento e da técnica de utilização dos medicamentos inalatórios

Daiane de Oliveira Santos, Maria Cleusa Martins, Sonia Lucena Cipriano, Regina Maria Carvalho Pinto, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(1):14-22

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Objective: To evaluate treatment compliance and use of inhaled medications of patients with asthma receiving complementary pharmaceutical care. Methods: A controlled prospective parallel study involving a study group and a control group. We selected 60 patients with persistent asthma and using metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), dry powder inhalers (DPIs) or both. The patients were evaluated three times over 60 days. Instructions were provided to the patients in the study group at all visits but only at the first visit to those in the control group. The patients using < 80% or > 120% of the total number of prescribed doses were classified as noncompliant. The inhalation technique was quantified by a scoring system. A satisfactory technique was defined as a score higher than 7 (maximum, 9) for MDIs and higher than 4 (maximum, 5) for DPIs. Results: The final study sample comprised 28 study group patients and 27 control group patients, of whom 18 (64.3%) and 20 (74.7%), respectively, were considered treatment compliant. From the first to the third visits, there were increases, in the study and control groups, in the median MDI-use score (from 3 [range, 0-5] to 8 [range, 8-9]; p < 0.001; and from 5 [range, 2-6] to 7 [range, 6-8]), as well as in the median DPI-use score (from 3 [range, 2-4] to 5 [range, 4-5] and from 3 [range, 2-4] to 4 [range, 3-5]). Conclusions: The counseling provided by the pharmacist to the patient was important to assist in the implementation of the appropriate inhalation technique, especially for MDI use.


Keywords: Asthma; Pharmaceutical services; Administration, inhalation;Metered dose inhalers; Medication adherence.


Acceptability, preference, tolerance and clinical efficacy of dipropionate beclomethasone delivered by two inhalation devices in chronic asthma patients: Clenil pulvinal® versus Miflasona Aerolizer®

Avaliação da eficácia clínica, aceitabilidade e preferência de dois sistemas inalatórios de beclometasona no tratamento da asma : Pulvinal versus Aeroliser.

Jussara Fiterman, Waldo Mattos, Alberto Cukier, Márcia Pizzichinni, Rodnei Frare e Silva, Fabiane Kahan, José Roberto Jardim, Armando Brancatelli

J Bras Pneumol.2004;30(5):413-418

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Acceptability, preference, tolerance and clinical efficacy of dipropionate beclomethasone delivered by two inhalation devices in chronic asthma patients: Clenil pulvinal versus Miflasona Aerolizer Background: Approximately half of all asthmatic patients adhere to their prescribed treatment regimen, which makes noncompliance with treatment one of the main problems associated with the disease. It is possible that inhalation devices combining technological advances with comfort and simplicity of use could increase treatment compliance. Objective: To compare the acceptability of and preference for two inhalation devices (Pulvinal and Aerolizer), as well as to evaluate the efficacy of and tolerance for beclomethasone dipropionate when delivered by these two systems. Method: A multicenter, randomized, crossover parallel study was carried out involving 83 patients with stable asthma. Patients received 500-1000 g/day of beclomethasone dipropionate. After a 2-week run in, the patients were randomized to begin a 4-week crossover treatment period with equivalent doses of Clenil Pulvinal (CP) or Miflasona Aerolizer (MA). Results: Both groups showed improvement in dyspnea and FEV1, and acceptability was considered good or excellent in both groups. Of the patients studied, 50.6% preferred CP, and 39% preferred MA. In their future treatment regimes, 54.5% would choose the CP and 37.7% the MA. Conclusion: Clinical efficacy and acceptability were comparable between CP and MA.


Keywords: Asthma/therapy. Beclomethasone/ administration & dosage. Randomized controlled trials. Treatment Outcome.


Two-year evaluation of an educational program for adult outpatients with asthma

Avaliação de dois anos de um programa educacional para pacientes ambulatoriais adultos com asma

Luciene Angelini, Priscila Games Robles-Ribeiro, Regina Maria de Carvalho-Pinto, Marcos Ribeiro, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach

J Bras Pneumol.2009;35(7):618-627

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Objective: To evaluate the understanding of asthma and the clinical improvement in patients with moderate or severe persistent asthma prior to and after their participation in an educational program presented during the routine outpatient visits. Methods: This was a prospective pilot study involving 164 patients over a two-year period. The educational program, presented to small groups on outpatient visit days, consisted of lectures divided into three parts: pathophysiology; environmental control; and treatment, including training in the inhalation technique. The program was evaluated using standardized questionnaires on clinical improvement and understanding of the disease. Results: By the end of the first year, 120 patients had completed three visits, and 51 of those patients were revaluated at the end of the second year. The mean age of the patients was 44 years, 70% were female, and 43% had up to eight years of schooling. The educational intervention significantly increased the understanding of the disease (p < 0.001), and allowed greater clinical improvement (p < 0.05) with a decrease in the use of oral corticosteroids, fewer visits to the emergency room and fewer days missed from work or school. Conclusions: The educational program offered during the routine outpatient visits of adult patients with asthma at our clinic resulted in a progressive long-term increase in knowledge, as well as in clinical improvement.


Keywords: Asthma; Adult; Patient education as topic.


Evaluating COPD from the perspective of the patient

Avaliando a DPOC pela perspectiva do paciente

Cláudia Adriana Sant'Anna Ferreira, Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2006;32(2):7-8

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Barriers associated with reduced physical activity in COPD patients

Barreiras associadas à menor atividade física em portadores de DPOC

Priscila Batista Amorim, Rafael Stelmach, Celso Ricardo Fernandes Carvalho, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Regina Maria Carvalho-Pinto, Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2014;40(5):504-512

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Objective: To evaluate the ability of COPD patients to perform activities of daily living (ADL); to identify barriers that prevent these individuals from performing ADL; and to correlate those barriers with dyspnea severity, six-minute walk test (6MWT), and an ADL limitation score. Methods: In COPD patients and healthy, age-matched controls, the number of steps, the distance walked, and walking time were recorded with a triaxial accelerometer, for seven consecutive days. A questionnaire regarding perceived barriers and the London Chest Activity of Daily Living (LCADL) scale were used in order to identify the factors that prevent the performance of ADL. The severity of dyspnea was assessed with two scales, whereas submaximal exercise capacity was determined on the basis of the 6MWT. Results: We evaluated 40 COPD patients and 40 controls. In comparison with the control values, the mean walk time was significantly shorter for COPD patients (68.5  25.8 min/day vs. 105.2  49.4 min/day; p < 0.001), as was the distance walked (3.9  1.9 km/day vs. 6.4  3.2 km/day; p < 0.001). The COPD patients also walked fewer steps/day. The most common self-reported barriers to performing ADL were lack of infrastructure, social influences, and lack of willpower. The 6MWT distance correlated with the results obtained with the accelerometer but not with the LCADL scale results. Conclusions: Patients with COPD are less active than are healthy adults of a comparable age. Physical inactivity and the barriers to performing ADL have immediate implications for clinical practice, calling for early intervention measures.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Activities of daily living; Exercise tolerance.


Comparison between objective measures of smoking and self-reported smoking status in patients with asthma or COPD: are our patients telling us the truth?

Comparação entre medidas objetivas do tabagismo e tabagismo autodeclarado em pacientes com asma ou DPOC: será que nossos pacientes dizem a verdade?

Rafael Stelmach, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Regina Maria Carvalho-Pinto, Rodrigo Abensur Athanazio, Samia Zahi Rached, Gustavo Faibischew Prado, Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2015;41(2):124-132

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Objective: Smoking prevalence is frequently estimated on the basis of self-reported smoking status. That can lead to an underestimation of smoking rates. The aim of this study was to evaluate the difference between self-reported smoking status and that determined through the use of objective measures of smoking at a pulmonary outpatient clinic. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 144 individuals: 51 asthma patients, 53 COPD patients, 20 current smokers, and 20 never-smokers. Smoking status was determined on the basis of self-reports obtained in interviews, as well as through tests of exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO) and urinary cotinine. Results: All of the asthma patients and COPD patients declared they were not current smokers. In the COPD and asthma patients, the median urinary cotinine concentration was 167 ng/mL (range, 2-5,348 ng/mL) and 47 ng/mL (range, 5-2,735 ng/mL), respectively (p < 0.0001), whereas the median eCO level was 8 ppm (range, 0-31 ppm) and 5 ppm (range, 2-45 ppm), respectively (p < 0.05). In 40 (38%) of the patients with asthma or COPD (n = 104), there was disagreement between the self-reported smoking status and that determined on the basis of the urinary cotinine concentration, a concentration > 200 ng/mL being considered indicative of current smoking. In 48 (46%) of those 104 patients, the self-reported non-smoking status was refuted by an eCO level > 6 ppm, which is also considered indicative of current smoking. In 30 (29%) of the patients with asthma or COPD, the urinary cotinine concentration and the eCO level both belied the patient claims of not being current smokers. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high proportions of smoking pulmonary patients with lung disease falsely declare themselves to be nonsmokers. The accurate classification of smoking status is pivotal to the treatment of lung diseases. Objective measures of smoking could be helpful in improving clinical management and counseling.


Keywords: Asthma; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Cotinine; Carbon monoxide; Smoking.


Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: diagnosis and treatment

Deficiência de alfa-1 antitripsina: diagnóstico e tratamento

Aquiles A Camelier, Daniel Hugo Winter, José Roberto Jardim, Carlos Eduardo Galvão Barboza, Alberto Cukier, Marc Miravitlles

J Bras Pneumol.2008;34(7):514-527

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Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a recently identified genetic disease that occurs almost as frequently as cystic fibrosis. It is caused by various mutations in the SERPINA1 gene, and has numerous clinical implications. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is mainly produced in the liver and acts as an antiprotease. Its principal function is to inactivate neutrophil elastase, preventing tissue damage. The mutation most commonly associated with the clinical disease is the Z allele, which causes polymerization and accumulation within hepatocytes. The accumulation of and the consequent reduction in the serum levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin cause, respectively, liver and lung disease, the latter occurring mainly as early emphysema, predominantly in the lung bases. Diagnosis involves detection of low serum levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin as well as phenotypic confirmation. In addition to the standard treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, specific therapy consisting of infusion of purified alpha-1 antitrypsin is currently available. The clinical efficacy of this therapy, which appears to be safe, has yet to be definitively established, and its cost-effectiveness is also a controversial issue that is rarely addressed. Despite its importance, in Brazil, there are no epidemiological data on the prevalence of the disease or the frequency of occurrence of deficiency alleles. Underdiagnosis has also been a significant limitation to the study of the disease as well as to appropriate treatment of patients. It is hoped that the creation of the Alpha One International Registry will resolve these and other important issues.


Keywords: alpha 1-antitrypsin; Emphysema; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive.


Diaphragmatic dysfunction and mortality in patients with COPD

Disfunção diafragmática e mortalidade em pacientes portadores de DPOC

Wellington Pereira dos Santos Yamaguti, Elaine Paulin, João Marcos Salge, Maria Cristina Chammas, Alberto Cukier, Celso Ricardo Fernandes de Carvalho

J Bras Pneumol.2009;35(12):-

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Objective: To determine whether COPD patients with diaphragmatic dysfunction present higher risk of mortality than do those without such dysfunction. Methods: We evaluated pulmonary function, diaphragm mobility and quality of life, as well as determining the Body mass index, airway Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise capacity (BODE) index, in 42 COPD patients. The patients were allocated to two groups according to the degree to which diaphragm mobility was impaired: low mobility (LM; mobility ≤ 33.99 mm); and high mobility (HM; mobility ≥ 34.00 mm). The BODE index and the quality of life were quantified in both groups. All patients were followed up prospectively for up to 48 months in order to determine the number of deaths resulting from respiratory complications due to COPD. Results: Of the 42 patients evaluated, 20 were allocated to the LM group, and 22 were allocated to the HM group. There were no significant differences between the groups regarding age, lung hyperinflation or quality of life. However, BODE index values were higher in the LM group than in the HM group (p = 0.01). During the 48-month follow-up period, there were four deaths within the population studied, and all of those deaths occurred in the LM group (15.79%; p = 0.02). Conclusions: These findings suggest that COPD patients with diaphragmatic dysfunction, characterized by low diaphragm mobility, have a higher risk of death than do those without such dysfunction.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/mortality; Diaphragm; Exercise tolerance; Quality of life.


Short-term effect of tiotropium in COPD patients being treated with a &#946;2 agonist

Efeito de curto prazo do tiotrópio nos portadores de DPOC em tratamento com β2-agonista

Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Vanessa Aparecida Leão Pavezi, Sérvulo Azevedo Dias Jr., Regina Maria Carvalho Pinto, Rafael Stelmach, Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(2):181-189

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Objective: To evaluate the short-term impact of tiotropium in patients with severe or very severe COPD who complain of dyspnea despite being currently treated with other bronchodilators. Methods: A prospective study including patients with severe or very severe COPD and complaining of dyspnea at rest or on minimal exertion. Every 15 days, the bronchodilator treatment regimen was altered, from salmeterol to tiotropium to salmeterol+tiotropium. At the end of each regimen, pulmonary function tests and the six-minute walk test (6MWT) were performed. The degree of dyspnea and the ability to perform activities of daily living were also assessed. To evaluate patient ability to perform activities of daily living, we employed the London Chest Activity of Daily Living (LCADL), validated for use in Brazil. Results: We evaluated 52 patients, 30 of whom completed the study. The use of tiotropium in isolation resulted in significant improvement in dyspnea at baseline (mean Medical Research Council scale score reduced from 3.0 to 2.5) and at the end of 6MWT (mean Borg scale score reduced from 6.1 to 4.5), and the differences were significant (p < 0.05 for both). The use of the salmeterol+tiotropium combination resulted in a significant (81 mL) increase in FEV1 and a 5.7 point improvement in the LCADL score. Conclusions: The introduction of tiotropium into the treatment of patients with severe or very severe COPD and using long-acting β2 agonists improves pulmonary function and provides symptomatic relief, as perceived by patients in the short term. These results, obtained under real life treatment conditions, support the use of the salmeterol+tiotropium combination in specific treatment protocols for these patients.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Bronchodilator agents; Dyspnea; Activities of daily living.


Efficacy and safety of two dry-powder inhalers for the administration of mometasone furoate in asthma patients

Eficácia e segurança de dois inaladores de pó seco usados para a aplicação de furoato de mometasona em pacientes com asma

Carlos Alberto de Castro Pereira, Flávia Fillardo Vianna, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach, Júlio César Abreu de Oliveira, Erich Vidal Carvalho, Edimar Pedrosa Gomes, Suzete Varela Mayo, Antônio Monteiro da Silva Chibante, Cláudia Patrícia Domingues

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(4):-

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Objective: Mometasone furoate (MF) is a new potent synthetic inhaled corticosteroid. Internationally, MF is administered via a dry-powder inhaler that contains multiple doses. As a preparation that would be more cost-effective, single-dose MF capsules were developed in Brazil. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the two inhalers for MF administration in patients with asthma. Methods: A randomized, multicenter, open-label, parallel-group clinical trial involving 74 adult patients with moderate persistent asthma who were randomized into two groups to receive approximately 400 µg of MF once a day for 60 days, either via the multiple-dose inhaler or via the newly developed single-dose inhaler. Results: No significant differences were observed between the two groups regarding the primary endpoints (FEV1 and rescue medication use) or the secondary endpoints (morning PEF, tolerability, and safety, the last as assessed on the basis of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function). Conclusions: The use of the single-dose inhaler developed in Brazil for MF administration is as effective and safe as is that of a standard inhaler in the treatment of patients with asthma. Keywords: Anti-asthmatic agents; Pregnadienediols; Metered dose inhalers.


Keywords: Anti-asthmatic agents; Pregnadienediols; Metered dose inhalers. ( identifier: NCT00975741 [])


Use of breath carbon monoxide as an indicator of smoking status

Emprego da determinação de monóxido de carbono no ar exalado para a detecção do consumo de tabaco

Ubiratan P. Santos, Silmar Gannam, Julie M. Abe, Patricia B. Esteves, Marco Freitas Filho, Thais B. Wakassa, Jaqueline S. Issa, Mario Terra-Filho, Rafael Stelmach, Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2001;27(5):231-236

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Introduction: Smoking is the major preventable risk of morbidity and mortality. However, its prevalence is high in developed countries and increasing in developing countries, even though its effects are now better known. The purpose of this study was to compare the exhaled carbon monoxide concentration (exCO) between smokers and nonsmokers, evaluate the factors that influence this parameter among smokers and the potential influence of passive smoking by measuring exCO in workers and patients of Instituto do Coração HC-FMUSP. Materials and methods: This cross study included 256 volunteers who responded to a questionnaire and were submitted to exCO measuring with the MicroCo meter device. Results: There were 106 males and 150 females. Mean age was 43.4 years (Vmin-max: 15-83). There were 107 smokers, 118 nonsmokers and 31 passive smokers. Mean exCO was 14.01 ppm (Vmin-max: 1-44) among smokers, 2.03 ppm (Vmin-max: 0-5) among passive smokers and 2.50 ppm (Vmin-max: 0-9) among nonsmokers. Significant statistical difference was observed between smokers and the other groups (p < 0.001), but not between nonsmokers and passive smokers. A positive correlation was found between the number of cigarettes smoked per day and exCO values while there was a negative correlation between the exCO values and the timing of the last cigarette. For a reference limit value of 6 ppm, sensitivity was 70% and specificity was 96%. Conclusion: exCO metering is easy to perform, low-cost, noninvasive and allows the obtention of immediate results and the reference limit value of 6 ppm has good specificity to evaluate the smoking habit.


Keywords: Smoking. Carbon monoxide. Tobacco smoke pollution. Brazil.


Spirometry in patients screened for coronary artery disease: is it useful?

Espirometria em pacientes submetidos a investigação para detecção de doença arterial coronariana: é útil?

Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes1,a, Regina Maria Carvalho-Pinto1,b, Rafael Stelmach1,c, João Marcos Salge1,d, Carlos Eduardo Rochitte2,e, Eliane Cardoso dos Santos Souza1,f, Janaina Danielle Pessi1,g, Alberto Cukier1,h

J Bras Pneumol.2018;44(4):299-306

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of spirometric abnormalities in patients screened for coronary artery disease (CAD) and the risk factors for lung function impairment. Methods: Patients referred for cardiac CT underwent spirometry and were subsequently divided into two groups, namely normal lung function and abnormal lung function. The prevalence of spirometric abnormalities was calculated for the following subgroups of patients: smokers, patients with metabolic syndrome, elderly patients, and patients with obstructive coronary lesions. All groups and subgroups were compared in terms of the coronary artery calcium score and the Duke CAD severity index. Results: A total of 205 patients completed the study. Of those, 147 (72%) had normal lung function and 58 (28%) had abnormal lung function. The median coronary artery calcium score was 1 for the patients with normal lung function and 36 for those with abnormal lung function (p = 0.01). The mean Duke CAD severity index was 15 for the former and 27 for the latter (p < 0.01). Being a smoker was associated with the highest OR for abnormal lung function, followed by being over 65 years of age and having obstructive coronary lesions. Conclusions: The prevalence of spirometric abnormalities appears to be high in patients undergoing cardiac CT for CAD screening. Smokers, elderly individuals, and patients with CAD are at an increased risk of lung function abnormalities and therefore should undergo spirometry. ( identifier: NCT01734629 [])


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Spirometry; Coronary disease; Tomography, X-ray computed.


Omalizumab in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma: well-defined eligibility criteria to promote asthma control

Omalizumabe em pacientes com asma grave não controlada: critérios de elegibilidade bem definidos para promover o controle da asma

Regina Maria de Carvalho-Pinto1, Rosana Câmara Agondi2, Pedro Giavina-Bianchi2, Alberto Cukier1, Rafael Stelmach1

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(6):487-489

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Perception of asthma symptoms

Percepção de sintomas na asma

Alberto Cukier

J Bras Pneumol.2010;36(5):523-524

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Profile of a Brazilian population with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Perfil de uma população brasileira com doença pulmonar obstrutiva crônica grave

Mateo Sainz Yaksic, Mauro Tojo, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach

J Bras Pneumol.2003;29(2):64-68

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a public health problem. Tobacco smoking is the major cause, but not the only one. Air pollution, exposure to chemical compounds, environmental smoke exposure, and environmental tobacco smoke are among other contributing causes; viral and bacterial infection are risk factors too. Gender and weight loss are associated to the severity of the disease. Co-morbidity is frequent. Objective: To characterize a population of COPD outpatients followed at a tertiary medical service. Methods: Questionnaires were applied to patients with COPD. The data included gender, age, weight, body mass index (BMI), oxygen delivery users, and FEV1, exposure to tobacco smoke, exposure to wood smoke, tuberculosis antecedent and co-morbid diseases. Results: Of the 70 patients enrolled in the study, 70% (49) were male with an average age of 64 ± 10 years, an average weight of 63 ± 16 kg and an average BMI of 22 ± 5 kg/m2. 45,7% were oxygen dependent and the FEV1 average was 35 ± 14%. Nine (12.8%) patients never smoked, while 78.8% had quit tobacco smoking, (38 ± 11 pack/years was the average). Nine (12.8%) smoked straw cigarettes. Eighteen (25.7%) had environmental exposure to wood smoke. Eleven (15.7%) patients had tuberculosis, 5.7% complained of asthma symptoms, 2.8% had bronchiectasis, 11.4% diabetes mellitus, 51.4% hypertension, and 20% Cor pulmonale. Conclusion: Other possible COPD etiologies must be investigated. Determinants for the pulmonary injury could be environmental smoke exposure associated to former infections. Men with low BMI are typically representative of this severe patient population. Hypertension and Cor Pulmonale are frequent co-morbidity factors.


The patient profile of individuals with Alpha-1 antitrypsine gene mutations at a referral center in Brazil

Perfil dos pacientes com mutação no gene da alfa-1 antitripsina em um centro de referência no Brasil

Manuela Brisot Felisbino1,a, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes2,b, Maria Cecília Nieves Maiorano de Nucci2,c, Regina Maria de Carvalho Pinto2,d, Emilio Pizzichini1,e, Alberto Cukier2,f

J Bras Pneumol.2018;44(5):383-389

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Objective: The clinical, functional, radiological and genotypic descriptions of patients with an alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) gene mutation in a referral center for COPD in Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients with an A1AT gene mutation compatible with deficiency. We evaluated the A1AT dosage and genotypic, demographic, clinical, tomographic, and functional characteristics of these patients. Results: Among the 43 patients suspected of A1AT deficiency (A1ATD), the disease was confirmed by genotyping in 27 of them. The A1AT median dosage was 45 mg/dL, and 4 patients (15%) had a normal dosage. Median age was 54, 63% of the patients were male, and the respiratory symptoms started at the age of 40. The median FEV1 was 1.37L (43% predicted). Tomographic emphysema was found in 77.8% of the individuals. The emphysema was panlobular in 76% of them and 48% had lower lobe predominance. The frequency of bronchiectasis was 52% and the frequency of bronchial thickening was 81.5%. The most common genotype was Pi*ZZ in 40.7% of participants. The other genotypes found were: Pi*SZ (18.5%), PiM1Z (14.8%), Pi*M1S (7.4%), Pi*M2Z (3.7%), Pi*M1I (3.7%), Pi*ZMnichinan (3.7%), Pi*M3Plowell (3.7%), and Pi*SF (3.7%). We did not find any significant difference in age, smoking load, FEV1, or the presence of bronchiectasis between the groups with a normal and a reduced A1AT dosage, neither for 1 nor 2-allele mutation for A1ATD. Conclusions: Our patients presented a high frequency of emphysema, bronchiectasis and bronchial thickening, and early-beginning respiratory symptoms. The most frequent genotype was Pi*ZZ. Heterozygous genotypes and normal levels of A1AT also manifested significant lung disease.


Keywords: Alpha-1 antitrypsin; Emphysema; Alleles.


Prevalence of active and passive smoking in a population of patients with asthma

Prevalência de tabagismo ativo e passivo em uma população de asmáticos

Sérvulo Azevedo Dias-Júnior, Regina Carvalho Pinto, Luciene Angelini, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach

J Bras Pneumol.2009;35(3):261-265

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Smoking causes an intense inflammatory reaction in the airways and is associated with worse clinical outcomes in patients with asthma. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of active and passive smoking in a population of patients with asthma. The sample of asthma patients (n = 100) consisted of 47 nonsmokers, 33 former smokers, 17 passive smokers and 3 active smokers. Most had moderate or severe asthma. Mean exhaled CO was 9.34 ppb in smokers, 4.19 ppb in passive smokers, 3.98 ppb in nonsmokers and 3.98 ppb in former smokers. We conclude that the prevalence of exposure to tobacco smoke is high among asthma patients.


Keywords: Smoking; Asthma; Prevalence.


Recommendations for the pharmacological treatment of COPD: questions and answers

Recomendações para o tratamento farmacológico da DPOC: perguntas e respostas

Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes1, Alberto Cukier1, Aquiles Assunção Camelier2,3, Carlos Cezar Fritscher4, Cláudia Henrique da Costa5, Eanes Delgado Barros Pereira6, Irma Godoy7, José Eduardo Delfini Cançado8, José Gustavo Romaldini8, Jose Miguel Chatkin4, José Roberto Jardim9, Marcelo Fouad Rabahi10, Maria Cecília Nieves Maiorano de Nucci11, Maria da Penha Uchoa Sales12, Maria Vera Cruz de Oliveira Castellano13, Miguel Abidon Aidé14, Paulo José Zimermann Teixeira15,16, Renato Maciel17, Ricardo de Amorim Corrêa18, Roberto Stirbulov8, Rodrigo Abensur Athanazio1, Rodrigo Russo19, Suzana Tanni Minamoto7, Fernando Luiz Cavalcanti Lundgren20

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(4):290-301

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The treatment of COPD has become increasingly effective. Measures that range from behavioral changes, reduction in exposure to risk factors, education about the disease and its course, rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, management of comorbidities, and surgical and pharmacological treatments to end-of-life care allow health professionals to provide a personalized and effective therapy. The pharmacological treatment of COPD is one of the cornerstones of COPD management, and there have been many advances in this area in recent years. Given the greater availability of drugs and therapeutic combinations, it has become increasingly challenging to know the indications for, limitations of, and potential risks and benefits of each treatment modality. In order to critically evaluate recent evidence and systematize the major questions regarding the pharmacological treatment of COPD, 24 specialists from all over Brazil gathered to develop the present recommendations. A visual guide was developed for the classification and treatment of COPD, both of which were adapted to fit the situation in Brazil. Ten questions were selected on the basis of their relevance in clinical practice. They address the classification, definitions, treatment, and evidence available for each drug or drug combination. Each question was answered by two specialists, and then the answers were consolidated in two phases: review and consensus by all participants. The questions answered are practical questions and help select from among the many options the best treatment for each patient and his/her peculiarities.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/drug therapy; pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/prevention & control; pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/therapy.


Symptoms of dysphagia in patients with COPD

Sintomas indicativos de disfagia em portadores de DPOC

Rosane de Deus Chaves, Celso Ricardo Fernandes de Carvalho, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach, Claudia Regina Furquim de Andrade

J Bras Pneumol.2011;37(2):176-183

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Objective: To identify symptoms of dysphagia in individuals with COPD, based on their responses on a self-perception questionnaire. Methods: The study comprised 35 individuals with COPD and 35 healthy individuals, matched for age and gender. The study group was assessed regarding COPD severity; sensation of dyspnea; body mass index (BMI); and symptoms of dysphagia. The control group was assessed regarding BMI and symptoms of dysphagia. Results: The most common symptoms of dysphagia in the study group were pharyngeal symptoms/airway protection (p < 0.001); esophageal symptoms/history of pneumonia (p < 0.001); and nutritional symptoms (p < 0.001). Positive correlations were found between the following pairs of variables: FEV1 and BMI (r = 0.567; p < 0.001); pharyngeal symptoms/airway protection and dyspnea (r = 0.408; p = 0.015); and esophageal symptoms/history of pneumonia and pharyngeal symptoms/airway protection (r = 0.531; p = 0.001). There was a negative correlation between nutritional symptoms and BMI (r = −0.046; p < 0.008). Conclusions: Our results show that the individuals with COPD presented with symptoms of dysphagia that were associated with the pharyngeal and esophageal phases of swallowing, as well as with the mechanism of airway protection, a history of pneumonia, and nutritional symptoms.


Keywords: Deglutition disorders; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Pathological conditions, signs and symptoms.


Pharmacological treatment of COPD

Tratamento farmacológico da DPOC

Ana Maria Baptista Menezes, Silvia Elaine Cardozo Macedo, Ricardo Bica Noal, Jussara Fiterman, Alberto Cukier, José Miguel Chatkin, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes; Grupo de Trabalho da Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisiologia, Grupo de Trabalho do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia da

J Bras Pneumol.2011;37(4):527-543

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Approximately seven million Brazilians over 40 years of age have COPD. In recent years, major advances have been made in the pharmacological treatment of this condition. We performed a systematic review including original articles on pharmacological treatments for COPD. We reviewed articles written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese; published between 2005 and 2009; and indexed in national and international databases. Articles with a sample size < 100 individuals were excluded. The outcome measures were symptoms, pulmonary function, quality of life, exacerbations, mortality, and adverse drug effects. Articles were classified in accordance with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria for the determination of the level of scientific evidence (grade of recommendation A, B, or C). Of the 84 articles selected, 40 (47.6%), 18 (21.4%), and 26 (31.0%) were classified as grades A, B, and C, respectively. Of the 420 analyses made in these articles, 236 were regarding the comparison between medications and placebos. Among these 236 analyses, the most commonly studied medications (in 66, 48, and 42 analyses, respectively) were long-acting anticholinergics; the combination of long-acting 2 agonists and inhaled corticosteroids; and inhaled corticosteroids in isolation. Pulmonary function, adverse effects, and symptoms as outcomes generated 58, 54, and 35 analyses, respectively. The majority of the studies showed that the medications evaluated provided symptom relief; improved the quality of life and pulmonary function of patients; and prevented exacerbations. Few studies analyzed mortality as an outcome, and the role that pharmacological treatment plays in this outcome has yet to be fully defined. The medications studied are safe to use in the management of COPD and have few adverse effects.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/therapy; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/mortality; Review.


Validation of scores of use of inhalation devices: valoration of errors

Validação de escores de uso de dispositivos para inalação: valoração dos erros cometidos

Letícia Zambelli-Simões1, Maria Cleusa Martins2, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha Possari3, Greice Borges Carvalho4, Ana Carla Carvalho Coelho5, Sonia Lucena Cipriano6, Regina Maria de Carvalho-Pinto7, Alberto Cukier7, Rafael Stelmach7

J Bras Pneumol.2015;41(4):313-322

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Objective: To validate two scores quantifying the ability of patients to use metered dose inhalers (MDIs) or dry powder inhalers (DPIs); to identify the most common errors made during their use; and to identify the patients in need of an educational program for the use of these devices. Methods: This study was conducted in three phases: validation of the reliability of the inhaler technique scores; validation of the contents of the two scores using a convenience sample; and testing for criterion validation and discriminant validation of these instruments in patients who met the inclusion criteria. Results: The convenience sample comprised 16 patients. Interobserver disagreement was found in 19% and 25% of the DPI and MDI scores, respectively. After expert analysis on the subject, the scores were modified and were applied in 72 patients. The most relevant difficulty encountered during the use of both types of devices was the maintenance of total lung capacity after a deep inhalation. The degree of correlation of the scores by observer was 0.97 (p < 0.0001). There was good interobserver agreement in the classification of patients as able/not able to use a DPI (50%/50% and 52%/58%; p < 0.01) and an MDI (49%/51% and 54%/46%; p < 0.05). Conclusions: The validated scores allow the identification and correction of inhaler technique errors during consultations and, as a result, improvement in the management of inhalation devices.


Keywords: Asthma; Dry powder inhalers; Metered dose inhalers; Validation studies.


Symptom variability over the course of the day in patients with stable COPD in Brazil: a real-world observational study

Variabilidade dos sintomas diários de pacientes com DPOC estável no Brasil: um estudo observacional de vida real

Alberto Cukier1, Irma de Godoy2, Claudia Henrique da Costa3, Adalberto Sperb Rubin4, Marcelo Gervilla Gregorio5, Aldo Agra de Albuquerque Neto6, Marina Andrade Lima7, Monica Corso Pereira8, Suzana Erico Tanni2, Rodrigo Abensur Athanazio1, Elizabeth Jauhar Cardoso Bessa3, Fernando Cesar Wehrmeister9, Cristina Bassi Lourenco10, Ana Maria Baptista Menezes9

J Bras Pneumol.2020;46(3):e20190223-e20190223

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text Appendix

Objective: To analyze symptoms at different times of day in patients with COPD. Methods: This was a multicenter, cross-sectional observational study conducted at eight centers in Brazil. We evaluated morning, daytime, and nighttime symptoms in patients with stable COPD. Results: We included 593 patients under regular treatment, of whom 309 (52.1%) were male and 92 (15.5%) were active smokers. The mean age was 67.7 years, and the mean FEV1 was 49.4% of the predicted value. In comparison with the patients who had mild or moderate symptoms, the 183 (30.8%) with severe symptoms were less physically active (p = 0.002), had greater airflow limitation (p < 0.001), had more outpatient exacerbations (p = 0.002) and more inpatient exacerbations (p = 0.043), as well as scoring worse on specific instruments. The most common morning and nighttime symptoms were dyspnea (in 45.2% and 33.1%, respectively), cough (in 37.5% and 33.3%, respectively), and wheezing (in 24.4% and 27.0%, respectively). The intensity of daytime symptoms correlated strongly with that of morning symptoms (r = 0.65, p < 0.001) and that of nighttime symptoms (r = 0.60, p < 0.001), as well as with the COPD Assessment Test score (r = 0.62; p < 0.001), although it showed only a weak correlation with FEV1 (r = −0.205; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Dyspnea was more common in the morning than at night. Having morning or nighttime symptoms was associated with greater daytime symptom severity. Symptom intensity was strongly associated with poor quality of life and with the frequency of exacerbations, although it was weakly associated with airflow limitation.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Signs and symptoms, respiratory; Quality of life; Disease progression; Brazil.




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