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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Using Blood Eosinophil Count as a Biomarker to Guide Corticosteroid Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Treating patients hospitalised with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) usually involves administering systemic corticosteroids. The many unwanted side effects associated with this treatment have led to increased interest in minimising the accumulated corticosteroid dose necessary to treat exacerbations. Studies have shown that short-term treatment with corticosteroids is preferred, and recent trials have shown that biomarkers can be used to further reduce exposure to corticosteroids. Interestingly, high eosinophil counts in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD are indicative of an eosinophilic phenotype with a distinct response to treatment with corticosteroids. In addition, post-hoc analysis of randomised control trials have shown that higher blood eosinophil counts at the start of the study predict a greater response to inhaled corticosteroids in stable COPD. In this review, we examine the studies on this topic, describe how blood eosinophil cell count may be used as a biomarker to guide treatment with corticosteroids, and identify some relevant challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)236
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

ID: 62315389