Diagnostic accuracy stressed in UK COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) guideline:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Spirometry, X-ray, CT and blood count feature in new NHS guidelines on the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which aim to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and the care of this under-recorded condition. The Guidelines issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions recommend that initial diagnoses based on spirometric testing be confirmed using chest radiography and a full blood count to identify anaemia and polycythaemia. A CT scan should be used to further investigate symptoms that seem disproportionate to spirometric impairment. Noninvasive ventilation is recommended as the treatment of choice for persistent hyperbaric ventilatory failure. Some 900,000 people have been diagnosed with COPD in England and Wales, where it is responsible for some 30,000 deaths a year, making it the fifth most common cause of death. There may be as many undiagnosed cases as those recorded, NICE experts believe.