Treatment of COPD by clinical phenotypes. Putting old evidence into clinical practice
The new GOLD update has moved forward the principles of treatment of stable COPD by including the concepts of symptoms and risks into the decision of therapy; however, no mention of the concept of clinical phenotypes was included. It is recognized that COPD is a very heterogeneous disease and not all patients respond to all the drugs available for treatment. The identification of responders to therapies is crucial in chronic diseases to provide the most appropriate treatment and avoid unnecessary medications. The classically defined phenotypes of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, together with the newly described phenotypes of overlap COPD-asthma and frequent exacerbator allow a simple classification of patients that share clinical characteristics and outcomes and, more importantly, similar responses to existing treatments.