Comprehensive Cluster Analysis for COPD Including Systemic and Airway Inflammatory Markers.

Research paper by Halehsadat Nekoee HN Zahraei, Françoise F Guissard, Virginie V Paulus, Monique M Henket, Anne-Françoise AF Donneau, Renaud R Louis

Indexed on: 24 Oct '20Published on: 24 Oct '20Published in: COPD


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex, multidimensional and heterogeneous disease. The main purpose of the present study was to identify clinical phenotypes through cluster analysis in adults suffering from COPD. A retrospective study was conducted on 178 COPD patients in stable state recruited from ambulatory care at University hospital of Liege. All patients were above 40 years, had a smoking history of more than 20 pack years, post bronchodilator FEV1/FVC <70% and denied any history of asthma before 40 years. In this study, the patients were described by a total of 84 mixed sets of variables with some missing values. Hierarchical clustering on principal components (HCPC) was applied on multiple imputation. In the final step, patients were classified into homogeneous distinct groups by consensus clustering. Three different clusters, which shared similar smoking history were found. Cluster 1 included men with moderate airway obstruction ( = 67) while cluster 2 comprised men who were exacerbation-prone, with severe airflow limitation and intense granulocytic airway and neutrophilic systemic inflammation ( = 56). Cluster 3 essentially included women with moderate airway obstruction ( = 55). All clusters had a low rate of bacterial colonization (5%), a low median FeNO value (<20 ppb) and a very low sensitization rate toward common aeroallergens (0-5%). CAT score did not differ between clusters. Including markers of systemic airway inflammation and atopy and applying a comprehensive cluster analysis we provide here evidence for 3 clusters markedly shaped by sex, airway obstruction and neutrophilic inflammation but not by symptoms and T2 biomarkers.