Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Hippokratia 2000, 4(1):3-13

G. Ilonidis


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major worldwide health problem that has an increasing prevalence and mortality. In North America and the European Union is the fourth leading cause of death.The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes at least three covered lugn diseases: a. Emphysema, b. Chronic bronchitis, c. Bronchiolitis.The major characteristic of COPD is the presence of chronic airflow limitation that progresses slowly over a period of years and is by definition largely irreversible.Another characteristic of COPD is the loss of elastic recoil pressure, the destruction of lung parenchyma, the chronic inflummation, the increased wall muscle mass and the fibrosis in bronchiolar under 2 mm diameter.