June 13, 2016

Latest COPD-X Guidelines update

The COPD-X Guidelines have recently been updated with the latest version released 2  June, 2016. The update includes changes in the areas of lung volume reduction surgery, lung transplantation and oxygen therapy.

Lung Foundation Australia announced the recent update to The COPD-X Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of COPD after an extensive review of the published evidence in COPD up to 18 March 2016. Click here to view a full list of the updates.

At an international level, COPD-X is one of the most regularly updated COPD guidelines with evidence-based revisions conducted every quarter.

Here are highlights of some of the changes:

Lung volume reduction surgery and other techniques

Inclusion of new evidence on the use of endobronchial valves which details that endobronchial valves may provide a benefit to highly selected patients but should only be considered in specialised centres and cannot yet be recommended as routine therapy.

Inclusion of new wording on lung volume reduction coil treatment as a result of the largest non-blinded randomised controlled trial conducted to date. The study showed improvements in the six minute walk distance at six months, but not 12 months. However there were sustained improvements in spirometry and quality of life at 12 months. Cost effectiveness analysis found the treatment to be prohibitively expensive.

Lung transplantation

This section was reviewed including the type of patients who should be referred to a transplant centre and those in whom lung transplantation is contraindicated. The update also includes expected one, five and 10 year survival rates post-transplant.

Oxygen therapy

A substantial review of the “Intermittent Oxygen Therapy” sub-section which states that ambulatory oxygen therapy should not be offered routinely to patients who do not qualify for long term oxygen therapy. However, the use of short-term intermittent oxygen therapy may be considered for people who experience oxygen desaturation on exertion; patients living in isolated areas or prone to sudden life- threatening episodes while they are awaiting medical attention or evacuation by ambulance; and patients travelling by air. In addition, a sub-section called “Ambulatory oxygen therapy during pulmonary rehabilitation” has been added.