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Editorials |

Is Sustained Pharmacologic Lung Volume Reduction Now Possible in COPD?

Denis E. O’Donnell, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Kingston, ON, Canada
 ,  Dr. O’Donnell is Professor, Departments of Medicine and Physiology, and Head, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Queen’s University.

Correspondence to: Denis O’Donnell, MD, 102 Stuart St, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 2V6; e-mail: odonnell@post.queensu.ca



Chest. 2006;129(3):501-503. doi:10.1378/chest.129.3.501
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Extract

International guidelines1 have correctly highlighted dyspnea alleviation and improvement in exercise tolerance as being among the most important management goals in patients with COPD. Bronchodilator therapy is the first step in achieving these goals, and, in this respect, the advent of therapy with newer long-acting bronchodilators represents a significant clinical advance. Historically, the airflow limitation that characterizes COPD, at least in its later stages, has been thought to be largely “irreversible,” and this may have contributed to a pervasive attitude of therapeutic nihilism. This view has changed, however, and most current consensus documents on the subject acknowledge that the airway obstruction of COPD is indeed “partially reversible.”1

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