Blood eosinophils: a biomarker of COPD exacerbation reduction with inhaled corticosteroids.
ABSTRACT: Background:Growing evidence suggests that blood eosinophil count is associated with patient responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). We performed post hoc predictive modeling on data from the FORWARD study and two replicate studies by Dransfield, to evaluate the relationships between baseline eosinophil count and the effect of ICS on exacerbations and lung function in patients with COPD. Methods:The studies assessed ICS/long-acting ?2 agonist (LABA) combinations vs LABA alone. Using data from each study, we modeled COPD exacerbation rates, predose FEV1, and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire score ([FORWARD only]) over a continuous range of eosinophils (0-1,000 eosinophils/µL in FORWARD, 0-993 eosinophils/µL in Dransfield). Results:In all studies, ICS/LABA reduced exacerbations versus LABA alone across all eosinophil levels, with progressively greater reductions at increasing baseline blood eosinophil counts. In FORWARD, annual exacerbation rates ranged from 0.78 to 0.83 per year between 0 and 1,000 eosinophils/µL in the ICS/LABA arm, and from 0.81 to 1.54 per year in the LABA-only arm. In the Dransfield studies, exacerbation rates ranged from 0.54 to 1.02 per year in the ICS/LABA arm between 0 and 993 eosinophils/µL, and from 0.56 to 1.75 per year in the LABA-only arm. Change in FEV1 was not associated with eosinophil count in ICS-treated patients in FORWARD, whereas an increased treatment benefit in terms of FEV1 was observed at higher eosinophil levels in the Dransfield studies. ICS/LABA led to greater improvements in St George's Respiratory Questionnaire total scores compared to LABA alone in patients in FORWARD with ?67 eosinophils/µL. Conclusion:Higher blood eosinophil count in patients with COPD is associated with an increased beneficial effect from ICS in terms of exacerbation reduction. Further prospective data are required to assess the role of blood eosinophils as a biomarker for therapeutic recommendations.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:We performed a review of studies of fluticasone propionate (FP)/salmeterol (SAL) (combination inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting ?2-agonist (LABA)) in patients with COPD, which measured baseline (pretreatment) blood eosinophil levels, to test whether blood eosinophil levels ?2% were associated with a greater reduction in exacerbation rates with ICS therapy. METHODS:Three studies of ?1-year duration met the inclusion criteria. Moderate and severe exacerbation rates were analysed according to baseline blood eosinophil levels (<2% vs ?2%). At baseline, 57-75% of patients had ?2% blood eosinophils. Changes in FEV1 and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores were compared by eosinophil level. RESULTS:For patients with ?2% eosinophils, FP/SAL was associated with significant reductions in exacerbation rates versus tiotropium (INSPIRE: n=719, rate ratio (RR)=0.75, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.92, p=0.006) and versus placebo (TRISTAN: n=1049, RR=0.63, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.79, p<0.001). No significant difference was seen in the <2% eosinophil subgroup in either study (INSPIRE: n=550, RR=1.18, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.51, p=0.186; TRISTAN: n=354, RR=0.99, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.47, p=0.957, respectively). In SCO30002 (n=373), no significant effects were observed (FP or FP/SAL vs placebo). No relationship was observed in any study between eosinophil subgroup and treatment effect on FEV1 and SGRQ. DISCUSSION:Baseline blood eosinophil levels may represent an informative marker for exacerbation reduction with ICS/LABA in patients with COPD and a history of moderate/severe exacerbations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by progressive airflow limitation and chronic inflammation. Predicting exacerbations of COPD, which contribute to disease progression, is important to guide preventative treatment and improve outcomes. Blood eosinophils are a biomarker for patient responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS); however, their effectiveness as a predictive biomarker for COPD exacerbations is unclear. METHODS:This post hoc analysis pooled data from 11 Boehringer Ingelheim-sponsored Phase III and IV randomised COPD studies with similar methodologies. Exacerbation data were collected from these studies, excluding patients from the ICS withdrawal arm of the WISDOM® study. Patients were grouped according to their baseline blood eosinophil count, baseline ICS use and number of exacerbations in the year prior to each study. RESULTS:Exacerbation rate data and baseline eosinophil count were available for 22,125 patients; 45.6% presented with a baseline blood eosinophil count of ??150 cells/?L, 34.3% with 150-300 cells/?L and 20.1% with >?300 cells/?L. The lowest exacerbation rates were observed in patients with ??150 cells/?L, with small increases in exacerbation rate observed with increasing eosinophil count. When stratified by exacerbation history, the annual rate of exacerbations for patients with 0 exacerbations in the previous year increased in line with increasing eosinophil counts (0.38 for ??150 cells/?L, 0.39 for 150-300 cells/?L and 0.44 for >?300 cells/?L respectively). A similar trend was identified for patients with one exacerbation in the previous year, 0.62, 0.66 and 0.67 respectively. For patients with ??2 exacerbations, exacerbation rates fluctuated between 1.02 (??150 cells/?L) to 1.10 (150-300 cells/?L) and 1.07 (>?300 cells/?L). Higher exacerbation rates were noted in patients treated with ICS at baseline (range 0.75 to 0.82 with increasing eosinophil count) compared with patients not on ICS (range 0.45 to 0.49). CONCLUSION:We found no clinically important relationship between baseline blood eosinophil count and exacerbation rate. Hence, the current analysis does not support the use of blood eosinophils to predict exacerbation risk; however, previous exacerbation history was found to be a more reliable predictor of future exacerbations. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT00168844 , NCT00168831 , NCT00387088 , NCT00782210 , NCT00782509 , NCT00793624 , NCT00796653 , NCT01431274 , NCT01431287 , NCT02296138 and NCT00975195 .
Project description:Triple inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA)/long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) therapy is recommended for symptomatic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and at risk of exacerbations. However, the benefits versus side-effects of triple inhaled therapy for COPD, based on distinct patient clinical profiles, are unclear. FULFIL, a phase III, randomised, double-blind study, compared 24 weeks of once-daily fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol (FF/UMEC/VI) 100/62.5/25 µg using the Ellipta inhaler with twice-daily budesonide/formoterol (BUD/FOR) 400/12 µg using the Turbuhaler. Subgroup analyses of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) Total score and exacerbation rates were carried out. Subgroups were defined by COPD medication at screening (ICS+LABA, BUD+FOR, ICS+LABA+LAMA, LAMA alone, tiotropium alone and LAMA+LABA), by disease severity (lung function and exacerbations) and by exacerbation history (exacerbation severity and frequency). In the intent-to-treat population (n=1810) at week 24, FF/UMEC/VI (n=911) versus BUD/FOR (n=899) improved FEV1 and SGRQ Total score and reduced mean annual exacerbation rates in all disease severity and exacerbation history subgroups. FF/UMEC/VI versus BUD/FOR improved FEV1 and SGRQ Total score in all medication subgroups and reduced mean annual exacerbation rates in all medication subgroups, except LAMA+LABA. Adverse events were similar across subgroups. These findings support the benefit of FF/UMEC/VI compared with dual ICS/LABA therapy in patients with symptomatic COPD regardless of disease severity or prior treatment and may help to inform clinical decision making.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In COPD, the course of the disease including morbidity and mortality is strongly associated with severe exacerbations. The current GOLD recommendations emphasize blood eosinophil counts as a marker for responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Retrospective analyses from randomized clinical trials indicate a favorable response to systemic corticosteroids in exacerbated COPD patients with blood eosinophils >?2%, however data outside clinical trials are scarce. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We retrospectively evaluated data from 1007 cases of patients who were admitted to the University Medical Center Marburg between 01/2013 and 12/2018. All patients had been diagnosed with an acute exacerbation of COPD (ICD-10?J44.0/J44.1). Our analysis was based on a subgroup of 417 patients in whom a full blood cell count was obtained at the day of admission. Patients were predominantly male (63.3%), had a median age of 74 years (IQR 65 years - 83 years) and a median FEV1 of 1.03 l (42.6% predicted). We compared the hospital length of stay and other outcome parameters using established thresholds for the eosinophil blood cell count (100 and 300 eosinophils/?l and 2%). RESULTS:Patients with low eosinophils (<?2%, <100 cells/?l) had a longer median time in hospital (length of hospital stay - LOS) as compared to patients with high eosinophils (<?2%: 9.31 vs. ?2%:7?days, and?<?100/?l: 10 vs. 100-300/?l: 8 vs. >?300/?l: 7?days). The median CRP was higher in patients with low eosinophils as compared to the other groups (<?2%: 22.7 vs. ?2%: 9?mg/dl and?<?100: 25 vs. 100-300: 13.5 vs. >?300: 7.1?mg/dl). Time to re-hospitalization or time to death did not differ between strata of eosinophils. Sensitivity analysis in a subgroup of patients in which pneumonia was excluded by chest x-ray did not significantly alter the results. CONCLUSION:The results support the hypothesis that patients with severe COPD exacerbations and elevated blood eosinophil counts respond better to systemic corticosteroid treatment than patients with a non-eosinophilic exacerbation.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Assessing clinically important measures of disease progression is essential for evaluating therapeutic effects on disease stability in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This analysis assessed whether providing additional bronchodilation with the long-acting muscarinic antagonist umeclidinium (UMEC) to patients treated with inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting ?2-agonist (LABA) therapy would improve disease stability compared with ICS/LABA therapy alone. METHODS:This integrated post hoc analysis of four 12-week, randomized, double-blind trials (NCT01772134, NCT01772147, NCT01957163, NCT02119286) compared UMEC 62.5 µg with placebo added to open-label ICS/LABA in symptomatic patients with COPD (modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale score???2). A clinically important deterioration (CID) was defined as: a decrease from baseline of???100 mL in trough forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), an increase from baseline of???4 units in St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) total score, or a moderate/severe exacerbation. Risk of a first CID was evaluated in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population and in patients stratified by Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification, exacerbation history and type of ICS/LABA therapy. Adverse events (AEs) were also assessed. RESULTS:Overall, 1637 patients included in the ITT population received UMEC?+?ICS/LABA (n?=?819) or placebo?+?ICS/LABA (n?=?818). Additional bronchodilation with UMEC reduced the risk of a first CID by 45-58% in the ITT population and all subgroups analyzed compared with placebo (all p?<?0.001). Improvements were observed in reducing FEV1 (69% risk reduction; p?<?0.001) and exacerbation (47% risk reduction; p?=?0.004) events in the ITT population. No significant reduction in risk of a SGRQ CID was observed. AE incidence was similar between treatment groups. CONCLUSION:Symptomatic patients with COPD receiving ICS/LABA experience frequent deteriorations. Additional bronchodilation with UMEC significantly reduced the risk of CID and provided greater short-term stability versus continued ICS/LABA therapy in these patients. FUNDING:GlaxoSmithKline (study number: 202067). Plain language summary available for this article.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Control of airway inflammation is the cornerstone of asthma management. The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the effects of a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) added to a basic treatment of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) on airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, and quality of life in well-controlled patients with asthma. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:Seventeen patients (age 18-65, 11 women) with well-controlled asthma presenting airway hyperresponsiveness to mannitol and methacholine challenge were given add-on montelukast on a stable ICS?+?LABA for 4 weeks. Quality of life and selected parameters of airway inflammation were measured at baseline and at study end. (ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01725360)). RESULTS:Adding montelukast to ICS?+?LABA resulted in an increase in mean FEV1 (+4.5%, p?=?0.057), cumulated higher dose of mannitol (+32.5%, p?=?0.023) and methacholine (+17.2%, 0.237) in the provocation test, lower airway reactivity with mannitol and methacholine (response dose ratio (RDR) -50.0%, p?=?0.024 and -44.3%, p?=?0.006, respectively), and improved airway sensitivity to mannitol and methacholine (+12.1%, p?=?0.590 and +48.0%, p?=?0.129 for PD15 and PD20 FEV1, respectively). Changes in inflammation parameters (blood eosinophil count, serum eosinophil cationic protein, and exhaled nitric oxide) were consistent with these findings. Asthma-related quality of life improved significantly in all domains and overall (from 5.3 at baseline to 6.1 at the final visit, p?<?0.001). The main limitation was the absence of a control group. CONCLUSION:The consistency of the changes in airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation as well as in quality of life observed with an add-on therapy with montelukast in well-controlled asthma patients during 4 weeks suggests that residual inflammation may represent an area for further improvement of asthma control to be explored in adequately powered randomized controlled trials.
Project description:Objectives:The aim of this study was to assess the current evidence for long-acting ?2-agonist (LABA)/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) in the treatment of COPD. Materials and methods:A systematic literature search of randomized controlled trials published in English up to September 2017 of LABA/LAMA FDCs vs LABA or LAMA or LABA/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) FDCs in COPD patients was performed using PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Outcomes including forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), Transition Dyspnea Index (TDI) scores, St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores, exacerbations, exercise tolerance (endurance time [ET]), inspiratory capacity (IC), and rescue medication use were evaluated. Results:In total, 27 studies were included in the review. LABA/LAMA FDCs significantly improved lung function (FEV1) at 12 weeks compared with LABA or LAMA or LABA/ICS. These effects were maintained over time. Significant improvements with LABA/LAMA FDCs vs each evaluated comparator were also observed in TDI and SGRQ scores, even if significant differences between different LABA/LAMA FDCs were detected. Only the LABA/LAMA FDC indacaterol/glycopyrronium has shown superiority vs LAMA and LABA/ICS for reducing exacerbation rates, while olodaterol/tiotropium and indacaterol/glycopyrronium have been shown to improve ET and IC vs the active comparators. Rescue medication use was significantly reduced by LABA/LAMA FDCs vs the evaluated comparators. LABA/LAMA FDCs were safe, with no increase in the risk of adverse events with LABA/LAMA FDCs vs the monocomponents. Conclusion:Evidence supporting the efficacy of LABA/LAMA FDCs for COPD is heterogeneous, particularly for TDI and SGRQ scores, exacerbation rates, ET, and IC. So far, indacaterol/glycopyrronium is the LABA/LAMA FDC that has the strongest evidence for superiority vs LABA, LAMA, and LABA/ICS FDCs across the evaluated outcomes. LABA/LAMA FDCs were safe; however, more data should be collected in a real-world setting to confirm their safety.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Blood eosinophil count has been proposed as a predictor of response to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in the prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD. An optimal threshold of blood eosinophil count for prescribing ICS has not been agreed. Doubt has been cast on the role by observational studies. The role of inhaled corticosteroids in this relationship, independent of long-acting bronchodilators, has not been examined. METHODS:We conducted a systematic review of post-hoc analyses of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies examining three blood eosinophil thresholds and the independent role of ICS. Included studies were categorised by the form (relative or absolute count) and cut point of eosinophil threshold used. Thresholds assessed were relative eosinophil count of 2%, and absolute counts of 150 cells/?L and 300 cells/?L. Three meta-analyses of the effect of ICS use in post-hoc analyses of RCTs based on these counts were carried out. Initial analysis included all studies of ICS vs. any non-ICS regimen. Further analysis examined the effect of ICS, independent of the effect of long-acting bronchodilators. RESULTS:Sixteen studies examined the association between blood eosinophil count and response of exacerbation risk to ICS, in COPD patients. Eleven studies (25,881 patients) were post-hoc analyses of RCTs. Five studies (109,704 patients) were retrospective observational studies. The independent effect of ICS on the reduction of exacerbation risk was 20% at ?2% blood eosinophil threshold (RR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.74-0.85), 35% at ?150 cells/?L blood eosinophil threshold (RR, 0.65; 0.52-0.79), and 39% at ?300 cells/?L blood eosinophil threshold (RR, 0.61; 0.44-0.78). No association was found in four out of five observational studies. CONCLUSION:This is the first systematic review to assess, in post-hoc analyses of RCTs, the independent effect of ICS in reducing the risk of COPD exacerbation across a range of blood eosinophil thresholds. Association between ICS prescription and reduced exacerbation risk at these thresholds was confirmed. The lack of association found in the observational studies questions the relevance of these observations to a "real world" COPD population. To clarify the clinical utility of this biomarker, the association should be tested in prospective effectiveness studies.
Project description:Eosinophilic airway inflammation is observed in 10-30% of COPD subjects. Whether increased eosinophils or impairment in their clearance by macrophages is associated with the severity and frequency of exacerbations is unknown.We categorised 103 COPD subjects into 4 groups determined by the upper limit of normal for their cytoplasmic macrophage red hue (<6%), an indirect measure of macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils, and area under the curve sputum eosinophil count (? 3%/year). Eosinophil efferocytosis by monocyte-derived macrophages was studied in 17 COPD subjects and 8 normal controls.There were no differences in baseline lung function, health status or exacerbation frequency between the groups: A-low red hue, high sputum eosinophils (n=10), B-high red hue, high sputum eosinophils (n=16), C-low red hue, low sputum eosinophils (n=19) and D- high red hue, low sputum eosinophils (n=58). Positive bacterial culture was lower in groups A (10%) and B (6%) compared to C (44%) and D (21%) (p=0.01). The fall in FEV1 from stable to exacerbation was greatest in group A (?FEV1 [95 % CI] -0.41 L [-0.65 to -0.17]) versus group B (-0.16 L [-0.32 to -0.011]), C (-0.11 L [-0.23 to -0.002]) and D (-0.16 L [-0.22 to -0.10]; p=0.02). Macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils was impaired in COPD versus controls (86 [75 to 92]% versus 93 [88 to 96]%; p=0.028); was most marked in group A (71 [70 to 84]%; p=0.0295) and was inversely correlated with exacerbation frequency (r=-0.63; p=0.006).Macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils is impaired in COPD and is related to the severity and frequency of COPD exacerbations.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Triple inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting muscarinic antagonist/long-acting ?2-agonist (ICS/LAMA/LABA) combination therapy is recommended for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who experience further exacerbations/symptoms on dual LAMA/LABA or ICS/LABA therapy. The relative efficacy of budesonide/glycopyrronium/formoterol fumarate metered dose inhaler 320/18/9.6 µg (BGF MDI) in COPD was compared with other ICS/LAMA/LABA fixed-dose and open combination therapies in a network meta-analysis (NMA). METHODS:A systematic literature review was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials of at least 10-week duration, including at least one fixed-dose or open combination triple therapy arm, in patients with moderate to very severe COPD. Studies were assessed for methodological quality and risk of bias. A three-level hierarchical Bayesian NMA model was used to determine the exacerbation rate per patient per year as well as the following outcomes at week 24: changes from baseline in pre-dose trough forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), post-dose peak FEV1, and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) total score; proportion of SGRQ responders; and Transition Dyspnea Index focal score. Change from baseline in rescue medication use over weeks 12-24 was also analyzed. Meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were used to assess heterogeneity across studies. RESULTS:Eighteen studies (n?=?29,232 patients) contributed to the NMA. ICS/LABA dual combinations were combined as a single treatment group to create a connected network. Across all outcomes, there were no statistically significant differences between BGF MDI and other triple ICS/LAMA/LABA fixed-dose (fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol and beclomethasone dipropionate/glycopyrronium/formoterol fumarate) and open combinations with data available within the network. Results from sensitivity analyses and meta-regression were consistent with the base-case scenario. CONCLUSION:This NMA suggested that BGF MDI has comparable efficacy to other ICS/LAMA/LABA fixed-dose and open triple combination therapies in reducing exacerbations and improving lung function and symptoms in patients with moderate to very severe COPD. Further research is warranted as additional evidence regarding triple therapies, especially fixed-dose combinations, becomes available.