Chapter

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

William MacNee

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.1808_update_001

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Case History—A 37 yr old woman with slowly progressive breathlessness.

Case History—A 45 yr old man with increasing symptoms from his known COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a slowly progressive condition that produces considerable morbidity and mortality. It is characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible and is associated with an enhanced inflammatory response in the airways and the lungs to noxious particles or gases. COPD is a group of lung conditions—chronic bronchitis (a chronic productive cough on most days for 3 months, in each of two consecutive years), small-airway disease (obstructive bronchiolitis), and emphysema (abnormal, permanent enlargement of the air spaces, distal to the terminal bronchioles, accompanied by destruction of their walls) that are present to a variable extent in different individuals resulting in heterogeneous presentations of the condition. Exacerbations and comorbidities contribute to the overall severity of the condition in individual patients....

Chapter.  29559 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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