Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD - Episode 5

COPD Treatment Guidelines: When to Follow, and Which One?

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The MD Magazine Peer Exchange “Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD Therapy” features a panel of physician experts discussing key topics in COPD therapy, including risk factors, personalized treatment, preventive measures, new combination therapies, and more.

This Peer Exchange is moderated by Peter Salgo, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology at Columbia University and an associate director of surgical intensive care at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

The panelists are:

  • Byron Thomashow, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, medical director at the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and chairman of the board of the COPD Foundation
  • Neil R. MacIntyre, MD, clinical chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Division, medical director of Respiratory Care Services, and professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine
  • Barry J. Make, MD, director of Pulmonary and Respiratory Care for National Jewish Health and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Nicola A. Hanania, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine and director of the Asthma and COPD Clinical Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine

COPD treatment guidelines such as GOLD propose a stepwise treatment algorithm for COPD based on symptoms, exacerbation risk, and FEV1. Hanania said that this a simplistic way to handle treatment decisions, though, because we are starting to understand more about all of the different disease phenotypes.

For this reason, and probably also because the guidelines, with all of their extensively researched recommendations, are very long and complicated, said Thomashow, many physicians do not treat by the guidelines.