Background: Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of bronchiectasis in patients with moderate to severe COPD. However, the factors associated with bronchiectasis remain unknown in these patients. The objective of this study is to identify the factors associated with bronchiectasis in patients with moderate to severe COPD.
Methods: Consecutive patients with moderate (50% < FEV(1) ≤ 70%) or severe (FEV(1) ≤ 50%) COPD were included prospectively. All subjects filled out a clinical questionnaire, including information about exacerbations. Peripheral blood samples were obtained, and lung function tests were performed in all patients. Sputum samples were provided for monthly microbiologic analysis for 6 months. All the tests were performed in a stable phase for at least 6 weeks. High-resolution CT scans of the chest were used to diagnose bronchiectasis.
Results: Ninety-two patients, 51 with severe COPD, were included. Bronchiectasis was present in 53 patients (57.6%). The variables independently associated with the presence of bronchiectasis were severe airflow obstruction (OR, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.38-10.5; P = .001), isolation of a potentially pathogenic microorganism (PPM) (OR, 3.59; 95% CI, 1.3-9.9; P = .014), and at least one hospital admission due to COPD exacerbations in the previous year (OR, 3.07; 95% CI, 1.07-8.77; P = .037).
Conclusion: We found an elevated prevalence of bronchiectasis in patients with moderate to severe COPD, and this was associated with severe airflow obstruction, isolation of a PPM from sputum, and at least one hospital admission for exacerbations in the previous year.