Evaluation of Bronchodilator Use During Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation Inpatient Admissions

Hosp Pharm. 2019 Apr;54(2):112-118. doi: 10.1177/0018578718769569. Epub 2018 Apr 10.


Background: It is unknown whether the timing of initiation of a long-acting bronchodilator (LABD) during a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation or the method of short-acting bronchodilator (SABD) delivery may aid in improving patient outcomes. Objective: The goal of this study was to determine the impact of bronchodilator management in the hospital setting on clinical outcomes in patients with COPD exacerbation. Methods: This retrospective, single-center study evaluated patients admitted to the non-intensive care unit setting with a COPD exacerbation as defined by the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. The primary outcome was difference in 30-day readmission rates for early LABD therapy (<24 hours from hospital admission) versus late/no LABD therapy (>24 hours from hospital admission or not during hospitalization). Secondary objectives included length of stay (LOS) for this group, and 30-day readmission rates and LOS for the SABD via inhaler versus nebulizer groups. Results: Two hundred twenty patients were included. There was no difference in 30-day readmission rate (15.2% vs 18.2%, P = .6) and LOS (median 4 [interquartile range, IQR 3-6]) days for both groups, P = .34) between early versus late/no LABD therapy initiation, respectively. No difference was observed in 30-day readmission rate (16.7% vs 16.6%) and LOS (median 2.5 [IQR 1.1-3.9] days vs median 4 [IQR 2-6] days) between inhaler and nebulizer SABD therapy groups. Conclusions: No difference was observed in 30-day readmission rates or LOS when utilizing early LABD compared with late/no LABD therapy or comparing inhaler and nebulizer SABD delivery methods during COPD exacerbation.

Keywords: disease management; outcomes research; respiratory.