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FEV/FVC Severity Stages for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Bhatt SP, Nakhmani A, Fortis S, Strand MJ, Silverman EK, Sciurba FC, Bodduluri S. FEV/FVC Severity Stages for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 2023 Sep 15; 208(6):676-684.

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The diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is based on a low FEV/FVC ratio, but the severity of COPD is classified using FEV% predicted (ppFEV). To test a new severity classification scheme for COPD using FEV/FVC ratio, a more robust measure of airflow obstruction than ppFEV. In COPDGene (Genetic Epidemiology of COPD) (? = 10,132), the severity of airflow obstruction was categorized by Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stages 1-4 (ppFEV of ?80%, ?50-80%, ?30-50%, and < 30%). A new severity classification (STaging of Airflow obstruction by Ratio; STAR) was tested in COPDGene-FEV/FVC ?0.60 to < 0.70, ?0.50 to < 0.60, ?0.40 to < 0.50, and < 0.40, respectively, for stages 1-4-and applied to the combined Pittsburgh SCCOR and Emphysema COPD Research Registry for replication (? = 2,017). The agreements (weighted Bangdiwala B values) between GOLD and the new FEV/FVC ratio severity stages were 0.89 in COPDGene and 0.88 in the Pittsburgh cohort. In COPDGene and the Pittsburgh cohort, compared with GOLD staging, STAR provided significant discrimination between the absence of airflow obstruction and stage 1 for all-cause mortality, respiratory quality of life, dyspnea, airway wall thickness, exacerbations, and lung function decline. No major differences were noted for emphysema, small airway disease, and 6-minute-walk distance. The STAR classification system identified a greater number of adults with stage 3/4 disease who would be eligible for lung transplantation and lung volume reduction procedure evaluations. The new STAR severity classification scheme provides discrimination for mortality that is similar to the GOLD classification but with a more uniform gradation of disease severity. STAR differentiates patients' symptoms, disease burden, and prognosis better than the existing scheme based on ppFEV, and is less sensitive to race/ethnicity and other demographic characteristics.

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