Simple Blood Test To Identify COPD Patients Who Will Benefit from Inhaled Steroids Interview with:
Dr Henrik Watz MD
Pulmonary Research Institute at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf
Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research
Grosshansdorf, Germany

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr Watz : While bronchodilators are the mainstay therapy for all patients with COPD some patients benefit from the addition of inhaled corticosteroids in case of frequent exacerbations. So far only little data exist that help clinicians to better characterize those patients that may benefit from the continuation of inhaled corticosteroids on top of dual bronchodilation with a LABA and a LAMA.

Post-hoc analyses of the WISDOM dataset suggest that those patients, who have blood eosinophil counts of 4 % or greater or 300 eosinophils per µL or more have less exacerbations, when inhaled corticosteroids are continued compared to patients, in whom inhaled corticosteroids are withdrawn. Patients with less than 4 % eosinophils or less than 300 eosinophils in peripheral blood, who represent 80 % of the study population in WISDOM, did not benefit from a continuation of inhaled corticosteroids.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr Watz: A simple and cheap blood test may help clinicians to identify patients with COPD who may benefit from a continuous treatment with inhaled corticosteroids on top of dual bronchodilation.    

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr Watz : As this is a post-hoc analysis only it is prospective studies that are needed to confirm our findings.


Blood eosinophil count and exacerbations in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after withdrawal of inhaled corticosteroids: a post-hoc analysis of the WISDOM trial

Dr Henrik Watz, MD,Prof Kay Tetzlaff, MD,Prof Emiel F M Wouters, MD,Anne Kirsten, MD,Prof Helgo Magnussen, MD,Prof Roberto Rodriguez-Roisin, MD,Prof Claus Vogelmeier, MD,Prof Leonardo M Fabbri, MD,Prof Pascal Chanez, MD,Prof Ronald Dahl, MD,Bernd Disse, MD ,Helen Finnigan, MSc

Prof Peter M A Calverley, DSc Published Online: 07 April 2016

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