BackgroundBronchiectasis prevalence in COPD is variable and the role and clinical features of concomitant bronchiectasis is poorly understood.This study aims to assess the frequency of bronchiectasis in a COPD cohort and assess its relationship with clinical and laboratory parameters.MethodsIn the AERIS study 127 patients with moderate-very severe COPD were followed for 2 years. Subjects with prior bronchiectasis were excluded. Each had lung function, sputum/blood sampling and HRCT at enrolment. CT scans were reported by a radiologist and bronchiectasis was identified and visual scoring quantified this (range 0-12).Results10 subjects had bronchiectasis. Of these median bronchiectasis score was 2. Bronchiectasis subjects had raised blood and sputum neutrophils. 7 subjects with bronchiectasis had potentially pathogenic microorganisms (PPM) in their sputum.

Table 1
 No bronchiectasisBronchiectasisP value
%FEV148 (24)39 (18)0.06
6MWD (m)300 (175)325 (114)0.51
Blood White cell (10*9/L)7.50 (2.28)7.75 (2.65)0.16
Blood neutrophils (10*9/L)4.8 (1.60)5.4 (1.55)0.03*
Blood lymphocytes (10*9/L)1.75 (0.95)1.55 (0.80)0.53
Blood Eosinophils (10*9/L)0.2 (0.2)0.2 (0.2)0.90
Blood CRP (Mg/L)5.0 (7.0)10.0 (14.75)0.06
PCT (mcg/L)0.059 (0.03)0.062 (0.04)0.82
Sputum Neutrophil60.0 (296.0)385.0 (186.0)0.001*
Sputum Macrophage140.5 (121.5)14.0 (35.0)<0.001*
Sputum Eosinophil9.0 (25.0)1.0 (2.0)0.02*
PPM in sputum (Frequency)5070.32
ConclusionThere was a low prevalence of bronchiectasis in this cohort. It was associated with worse lung function, increased airway and systemic neutrophilic inflammation. Use of CT imaging is able to identify this potentially high-risk population.
Median values (IQR). Mann-Whitney and Fishers Exact used