Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic disorder with substantial comorbidity and major effects attributable to the high morbidity and mortality rates. Despite an increasing evidence base, some important controversies in COPD management still exist. The classic way to define COPD has been based on spirometric criteria, but more relevant diagnostic methods are needed that can be used to describe COPD severity and comorbidity. Initiation of interventions earlier in the natural history of the disease to slow disease progression is debatable, there are many controversies about the role of inhaled corticosteroids in the management of COPD, and long-term antibiotics for prevention of exacerbation have had a resurgence in interest. Novel therapeutic drugs are urgently needed for optimum management of the acute COPD exacerbation. COPD is a complex disease and consists of several clinically relevant phenotypes that in future will guide its management.
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