Sunita Mulpuru, MD, FRCPC, MSc
The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON

Exacerbations of COPD (COPDe) are important clinical endpoints in research studies for new therapeutics, assessments of health services, and treatment decision making among people with COPD. Exacerbation events must be distinctly defined, easily ascertained, and highly correlated with relevant clinical and health service outcomes. The current consensus clinical definition for COPDe is symptom-based, but it is highly subjective and lacks important objective clinical data. For these reasons, an international panel of respiratory experts concluded that there is a clear need to improve the objectivity and accuracy of the current definition of COPDe. In this session, we will review the challenges and pitfalls of using the current COPDe definition. We will review the design and progress of a new pilot research study to develop a new clinical and biomarker-driven definition of COPD exacerbations.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Review the current consensus definition of COPD exacerbations;
  • Understand the challenges of applying the definition in a clinical setting; and
  • Describe a new pilot study to inform the development of a new and objective definition for COPD exacerbations.

CanMEDS Roles Addressed: Collaborator, Health Advocate, Scholar