Effect of corticosteroids on hemostasis and pulmonary arterial pressure during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation

Respiration. 2008;75(2):145-54. doi: 10.1159/000097748. Epub 2006 Dec 1.


Background: Hemodynamic and hemostatic abnormalities are reportedly frequent in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Objectives: We investigated the changes in systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAPs) and hemostatic status and the effects of systemic steroid treatment (SST) during COPD exacerbation.

Methods: Consecutive 26 male and 4 female patients as well as 10 controls were enrolled. The nonsteroid treatment (NST) group received standard treatment without steroids, and the other group received additional SST. Initial values of blood gases, spirometry and PAPs, P-selectin, D-dimer and fibrinogen levels, activities of thrombocyte aggregation, antithrombin III (AT III), protein C (PC), protein S, activated PC resistance (APCR), prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time were obtained and compared with values at day 10.

Results: Improvement in spirometry and blood gases was more prominent with SST. At presentation, patients had higher PAPs, P-selectin, D-dimer and fibrinogen but lower AT III levels than controls. PAPs and fibrinogen levels significantly decreased in the SST group while P-selectin levels further increased in the NST group. The D-dimer level significantly decreased in both groups. Means of AT III, PC and protein S increased in the SST and decreased in the NST group, but only the decrease in PC in the NST group was meaningful. Compared with the controls, AT III levels in the NST group and activated PC resistance in the SST group were significantly decreased. Thrombocyte aggregation tests suggested an incline after 10 days in both groups.

Conclusions: We suggest that in patients with COPD exacerbation, addition of systemic corticosteroids to treatment results in better outcome in normalization of PAPs, hemostasis, pulmonary functions and blood gases.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Hemostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Spirometry


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones