InforMing the PAthway of COPD Treatment (IMPACT) trial: fibrinogen levels predict risk of moderate or severe exacerbations

Respir Res. 2021 Apr 28;22(1):130. doi: 10.1186/s12931-021-01706-y.


Background: Fibrinogen is the first qualified prognostic/predictive biomarker for exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The IMPACT trial investigated fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol (FF/UMEC/VI) triple therapy versus FF/VI and UMEC/VI in patients with symptomatic COPD at risk of exacerbations. This analysis used IMPACT trial data to examine the relationship between fibrinogen levels and exacerbation outcomes in patients with COPD.

Methods: 8094 patients with a fibrinogen assessment at Week 16 were included, baseline fibrinogen data were not measured. Post hoc analyses were performed by fibrinogen quartiles and by 3.5 g/L threshold. Endpoints included on-treatment exacerbations and adverse events of special interest (AESIs).

Results: Rates of moderate, moderate/severe, and severe exacerbations were higher in the highest versus lowest fibrinogen quartile (0.75, 0.92 and 0.15 vs 0.67, 0.79 and 0.10, respectively). The rate ratios (95% confidence interval [CI]) for exacerbations in patients with fibrinogen levels ≥ 3.5 g/L versus those with fibrinogen levels < 3.5 g/L were 1.03 (0.95, 1.11) for moderate exacerbations, 1.08 (1.00, 1.15) for moderate/severe exacerbations, and 1.30 (1.10, 1.54) for severe exacerbations. There was an increased risk of moderate/severe exacerbation (hazard ratio [95% CI]: highest vs lowest quartile 1.16 [1.04, 1.228]; ≥ 3.5 g/L vs < 3.5 g/L: 1.09 [1.00, 1.16]) and severe exacerbation (1.35 [1.09, 1.69]; 1.27 [1.08, 1.47], respectively) with increasing fibrinogen level. Cardiovascular AESIs were highest in patients in the highest fibrinogen quartile.

Conclusions: Rate and risk of exacerbations was higher in patients with higher fibrinogen levels. This supports the validity of fibrinogen as a predictive biomarker for COPD exacerbations, and highlights the potential use of fibrinogen as an enrichment strategy in trials examining exacerbation outcomes.

Trial registration: NCT02164513.

Keywords: COPD; COPD exacerbations; Fibrinogen; Pharmacotherapy.

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