Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A new scan for lung diseases

People with chronic lung disease and asthma could soon be offered better treatment thanks to a new type of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan being pioneered at The University of Nottingham.

Oct 13, 2009
popularity0 comments 0

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), chronic airflow limitation (CAL) and chronic obstructive respiratory disease (CORD), is the co-occurrence of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs, causing shortness of breath (dyspnea). In clinical practice, COPD is defined by its characteristically low airflow on lung function tests. In contrast to asthma, this limitation is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time. In England, an estimated 842,100 of 50 million people have a diagnosis of COPD.

COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung.

The diagnosis of COPD requires lung function tests. Important management strategies are smoking cessation, vaccinations, rehabilitation, and drug therapy (often using inhalers). Some patients go on to require long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.

Worldwide, COPD ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in 1990. It is projected to be the fourth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 due to an increase in smoking rates and demographic changes in many countries. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the economic burden of COPD in the U.S. in 2007 was $42.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Experimental vaccine shows promise in preventing TB

(HealthDay)—Tuberculosis remains the most lethal of infectious diseases worldwide, killing more than 1.6 million people a year. But researchers say a new vaccine might prevent half of full-blown illnesses in infected people ...

Many doctors in India miss TB signs: study

Many private sector doctors in India miss the signs of tuberculosis and therefore provide patients inadequate treatment, according to a new study published Tuesday involving people hired to act out the symptoms.

Sensitive babies become altruistic toddlers

Our responsiveness to seeing others in distress accounts for variability in helping behavior from early in development, according to a study published September 25 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Tobias Grossmann ...

Genetic testing: Not a one-and-done deal

Genetic testing can play a substantial role in medical management by uncovering changes in genes that are associated with an increased risk for hereditary cancers. A new research study from investigators at UT Southwestern ...

Researchers seek vaccine for 'traveler's diarrhea'

Every year, millions of people have vacations and business trips ruined when they succumb to "traveler's diarrhea" during their journeys. A major cause of traveler's diarrhea is bacteria called Enterotoxigenic E. coli, or ...