Advances in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Annu Rev Med. 2021 Jan 27;72:119-134. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-080919-112707.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory disorder with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite its prevalence, COPD is underdiagnosed, and many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is clinically advanced. Recent basic science and clinical research have focused on the early physiologic and pathobiologic changes in COPD with the hopes of improving diagnosis, providing targets for disease-modifying therapy, and identifying patients most likely to benefit from early intervention. Available treatments for COPD have grown substantially in the past 20 years with the introduction of new oral and inhaled medications as well as novel surgical and bronchoscopic procedures. This article summarizes some of the recent advances in our understanding of disease pathogenesis and treatment paradigms.

Keywords: COPD; chronic bronchitis; emphysema; lung function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods
  • Survival Rate / trends