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.


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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.


Should the bronchiectasis treatment given to cystic fibrosis patients be extrapolated to those with bronchiectasis from other causes?

Deve-se extrapolar o tratamento de bronquiectasias em pacientes com fibrose cística para aqueles com bronquiectasias de outras etiologias?

Rodrigo Abensur Athanazio, Samia Zahi Rached, Ciro Rohde, Regina Carvalho Pinto, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Rafael Stelmach

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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To profile the characteristics of adult patients with bronchiectasis, drawing comparisons between cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and those with bronchiectasis from other causes in order to determine whether it is rational to extrapolate the bronchiectasis treatment given to CF patients to those with bronchiectasis from other causes. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the medical charts of 87 patients diagnosed with bronchiectasis and under follow-up treatment at our outpatient clinic. Patients who had tuberculosis (current or previous) were excluded. We evaluated the clinical, functional, and treatment data of the patients. Results: Of the 87 patients with bronchiectasis, 38 (43.7%) had been diagnosed with CF, through determination of sweat sodium and chloride concentrations or through genetic analysis, whereas the disease was due to another etiology in 49 (56.3%), of whom 34 (39.0%) had been diagnosed with idiopathic bronchiectasis. The mean age at diagnosis was lower in the patients with CF than in those without (14.2 vs. 24.2 years; p < 0.05). The prevalence of symptoms (cough, expectoration, hemoptysis, and wheezing) was similar between the groups. Colonization by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus was more common in the CF patients (82.4 vs. 29.7% and 64.7 vs. 5.4%, respectively). Conclusions: The causes and clinical manifestations of bronchiectasis are heterogeneous, and it is important to identify the differences. It is crucial that these differences be recognized so that new strategies for the management of patients with bronchiectasis can be developed.


Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; Bronchiectasis/diagnosis; Bronchiectasis/therapy; Respiratory function tests.


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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.


Eosinophils in COPD: why should I care?

Eosinófilos na DPOC: por que devo me importar?

Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes

J Bras Pneumol.2016;42(4):237-238

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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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.


Experimentation with and knowledge regarding water-pipe tobacco smoking among medical students at a major university in Brazil

Experimentação de e conhecimento sobre narguilé entre estudantes de medicina de uma importante universidade do Brasil

Stella Regina Martins, Renato Batista Paceli, Marco Antônio Bussacos, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Gustavo Faibischew Prado, Elisa Maria Siqueira Lombardi, Mário Terra-Filho, Ubiratan Paula Santos

J Bras Pneumol.2014;40(2):-

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: Water-pipe tobacco smoking is becoming increasingly more common among young people. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of the use of water pipes and other forms of tobacco use, including cigarette smoking, among medical students, as well as to examine the attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of those students regarding this issue. Methods: We administered a questionnaire to students enrolled in the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, in São Paulo, Brazil. The respondents were evaluated in their third and sixth years of medical school, between 2008 and 2013. Comparisons were drawn between the two years. Results: We evaluated 586 completed questionnaires. Overall, the prevalence of current cigarette smokers was low, with a decline among males (9.78% vs. 5.26%) and an increase among females (1.43% vs. 2.65%) in the 3rd and 6th year, respectively. All respondents believed that health professionals should advise patients to quit smoking. However, few of the medical students who smoked received physician advice to quit. Experimentation with other forms of tobacco use was more common among males (p<0.0001). Despite their knowledge of its harmful effects, students experimented with water-pipe tobacco smoking in high proportions (47.32% and 46.75% of the third- and sixth-year students, respectively). Conclusions: The prevalence of experimentation with water-pipe tobacco smoking and other forms of tobacco use is high among aspiring physicians. Our findings highlight the need for better preventive education programs at medical schools, not only to protect the health of aspiring physicians but also to help them meet the challenge posed by this new epidemic.


Keywords: Tobacco products; Smoking/prevention & control; Education, medical, undergraduate; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice.


Effective tobacco control measures: agreement among medical students

Medidas eficazes de controle do tabagismo: concordância entre estudantes de medicina

Stella Regina Martins1, Renato Batista Paceli1, Marco Antônio Bussacos2, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes1, Gustavo Faibischew Prado1, Elisa Maria Siqueira Lombardi1, Mário Terra-Filho1, Ubiratan Paula Santos1

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(3):202-207

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To determine the level of agreement with effective tobacco control measures recommended by the World Health Organization and to assess the attitudes toward, knowledge of, and beliefs regarding smoking among third-year medical students at University of São Paulo School of Medicine, located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Methods: Between 2008 and 2012, all third-year medical students were invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire based on the Global Health Professionals Student Survey and its additional modules. Results: The study sample comprised 556 students. The level of agreement with the World Health Organization recommendations was high, except for the components "received smoking cessation training" and "raising taxes is effective to reduce the prevalence of smoking". Most of the students reported that they agree with banning tobacco product sales to minors (95%), believe that physicians are role models to their patients (84%), and believe that they should advise their patients to quit cigarette smoking (96%) and using other tobacco products (94%). Regarding smoking cessation methods, most of the students were found to know more about nicotine replacement therapy than about non-nicotine therapies (93% vs. 53%). Only 37% of the respondents were aware of the importance of educational antismoking materials, and only 31% reported that they believe in the effectiveness of encouraging their patients, during medical visits. In our sample, the prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 5.23%; however, 43.82% of the respondents reported having experimented with water-pipe tobacco smoking. Conclusions: Our results revealed the need to emphasize to third-year medical students the importance of raising the prices of and taxes on tobacco products. We also need to make students aware of the dangers of experimenting with tobacco products other than cigarettes, particularly water-pipe tobacco smoking.


Keywords: Tobacco products; Health policy; Education, medical, undergraduate; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice.


Women and smoking: Risks, impacts, and challenges

O tabagismo e a mulher: Riscos, impactos e desafios

Elisa Maria Siqueira Lombardi, Gustavo Faibichew Prado, Ubiratan de Paula Santos, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes

J Bras Pneumol.2011;37(1):118-128

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Smoking among women has drawn increasing attention because of the increase (or less pronounced decrease) in its prevalence when compared with that observed for men, as well as because of the specific effects that smoking has on women's health. For the 2010 "World No Tobacco Day", the World Health Organization chose the theme "Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women", with the aim of encouraging policies to combat marketing strategies employed by the tobacco industry and to curb the epidemic of smoking among women. In this article, we discuss the characteristics of smoking among women, addressing factors such as smoking prevalence, nicotine dependence, the role of the tobacco industry, health risks, approaches to smoking cessation, treatment strategies, and prevention measures.


Keywords: Smoking; Women's health; Tobacco industry.


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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.


Pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema, and pneumothorax after a pulmonary function testing in a patient with bleomycin-induced interstitial pneumonitis

Pneumomediastino, enfisema subcutâneo e pneumotórax após prova de função pulmonar em paciente com pneumopatia intersticial por bleomicina

Mariana Sponholz Araujo, Frederico Leon Arrabal Fernandes, Fernando Uliana Kay, Carlos Roberto Ribeiro Carvalho

J Bras Pneumol.2013;39(5):613-619

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is an uncommon event, the clinical picture of which includes retrosternal chest pain, subcutaneous emphysema, dyspnea, and dysphonia. The pathophysiological mechanism involved is the emergence of a pressure gradient between the alveoli and surrounding structures, causing alveolar rupture with subsequent dissection of the peribronchovascular sheath and infiltration of the mediastinum and subcutaneous tissue with air. Known triggers include acute exacerbations of asthma and situations that require the Valsalva maneuver. We described and documented with HRCT scans the occurrence of pneumomediastinum after a patient with bleomycin-induced interstitial lung disease underwent pulmonary function testing. Although uncommon, the association between pulmonary function testing and air leak syndromes has been increasingly reported in the literature, and lung diseases, such as interstitial lung diseases, include structural changes that facilitate the occurrence of this complication.


Keywords: Mediastinal emphysema; Subcutaneous emphysema; Spirometry; Bleomycin.


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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.


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

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

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.




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