Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease might consist of at least five different disease subtypes with different clinical outcomes, based on an analysis of subjects in the ECLIPSE study.

Factor analysis was used to track 13 variables in 2,164 COPD patients in ECLIPSE (Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints) and divide patients into clusters analyzed for clinically meaningful outcomes during 3 years of follow-up, Dr. Stephen I. Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, and his associates reported in a study published online (Annals ATS 2015 Feb. 02 [doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201403-125OC]).

Based on clinical features and outcomes, the patients could be divided into five subgroups. Cluster A included patients who had mild disease and had few deaths and hospitalizations. Cluster B had limited systemic inflammation at baseline, but had notable changes in health status and emphysema extent. Cluster C had several comorbidities, evidence of systemic inflammation, and high mortality. Cluster D had low FEV1, severe emphysema, and a high exacerbation and COPD hospitalization rate. Cluster E had intermediate results for most variables; it may represent a mixed group of further clusters.

To read the study online, click here .