Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and resource use worldwide. The goal of this Official American Thoracic Society (ATS)/European Respiratory Society (ERS) Research Statement is to describe evidence related to diagnosis, assessment, and management; identify gaps in knowledge; and make recommendations for future research. It is not intended to provide clinical practice recommendations on COPD diagnosis and management.
Methods: Clinicians, researchers, and patient advocates with expertise in COPD were invited to participate. A literature search of Medline was performed, and studies deemed relevant were selected. The search was not a systematic review of the evidence. Existing evidence was appraised and summarized, and then salient knowledge gaps were identified.
Results: Recommendations for research that addresses important gaps in the evidence in all areas of COPD were formulated via discussion and consensus.
Conclusions: Great strides have been made in the diagnosis, assessment, and management of COPD as well as understanding its pathogenesis. Despite this, many important questions remain unanswered. This ATS/ERS Research Statement highlights the types of research that leading clinicians, researchers, and patient advocates believe will have the greatest impact on patient-centered outcomes.