Systemic effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: what we know and what we don't know (but should)

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2007 Oct 1;4(7):522-5. doi: 10.1513/pats.200701-004FM.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with pulmonary and systemic inflammation. The latter is likely to contribute significantly to the pathobiology of numerous extrapulmonary effects of the disease--the so-called systemic effects of COPD. The clinical relevance of these systemic effects has been recently recognized; however, many important questions about its pathophysiology remain unanswered. This article reviews what is known about it and, more importantly, highlights what is not (but should be) known in order to stimulate research in this area, in the hope that a better understanding of this field may lead to better treatment options for patients with COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchitis / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Weight Loss / physiology


  • Cytokines