A recent study highlights the need for additional and intensive studies to unravel the complete pathophysiology associated with asthma-COPD overlap syndrome.
In the study, the researchers noted a new observation made among 10 treated patients who never smoked and have asthma with persistent expiratory airflow obstruction. They observed that all patients had a significant decrease in lung elastic recoil, but also microscopic mild centrilobular, i.e., primarily in the upper lobes, and emphysema (the most common morphological subtype of pulmonary emphysema, a long-term, progressive lung disease leading to shortness of breath due to gradual damages in lungs alveoli).
As a result of this observation, the authors highlight that these findings are of particular importance and demonstrate the need to perform further studies and confirm the pathophysiologic observations to discover if indeed they are markers of ACOS. The research team also suggests that these potential ACOS alterations may be due to proinflammatory and proteolytic signaling cascades, which remains currently unaddressed.