Airway Responsiveness to Indirect Challenges in COPD
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Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) demonstrate airway hyperresponsiveness to a number of indirect stimuli. Hyperresponsiveness to cold air hyperventilation, exercise, and drugs like propranalol and methoxamine seem to be able to distinguish patients with COPD from those with asthma, whereas hyperresponsiveness to stimuli like adenosine 5-monophosphate (AMP) and hypertonic saline seem unable to do so. The relationship of airway responsiveness to indirect stimuli and airway inflammation has received little study. The clinical relevance of hyperresponsiveness to an indirect challenge, including the impact on the natural history, relation to types of bronchitis, baseline airway calibre, and response to treatment need to be studied.
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