Purpose of review: Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a natural event in the course of COPD and remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. Clinical criteria that define an acute exacerbation are subjective and open for debate. Identifying biomarkers that would be easily measured and followed in patients with acute exacerbation of COPD seems to be highly attractive. The aim of this review is to assess the role of biomarkers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and copeptin, as prognostic predictors in COPD exacerbations.
Recent findings: Many pulmonary biomarkers have been extensively studied in the recent years. CRP and copeptin have gained particular interest. Recent data suggest that CRP is elevated during an acute exacerbation of COPD but CRP alone is neither sensitive nor specific in predicting clinical severity or outcome. Copeptin increases during acute exacerbation of COPD and may correlate with disease severity.
Summary: Further studies are needed to determine the role of CRP and copeptin as biomarkers that aid in diagnosis and clinical outcome in acute exacerbation of COPD.