00:00 / 00:00
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Clinical
0 / 13 complete
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD is characterized by obstruction of airflow due to either inflammation of the airways, or chronic bronchitis, and destruction of the alveolar wall with dilation of the airspaces, or emphysema.
These events are due to inflammation that’s often triggered by inhalation of toxic substances, like tobacco smoke, as well as occupational pollutants like dust and silica.
Alright, now chronic bronchitis is characterized by an inflammatory process that leads to increased mucus production, which obstructs the airways and leads to air trapping behind those mucus plugs.
Chronic bronchitis is clinically defined as having a productive cough for more than 3 months each year for 2 or more consecutive years.
Now, zooming in for a moment, the body maintains a balance between elastases, which destroy elastin in the alveolar wall and respiratory bronchioles, and anti-elastases, which stop elastase from doing just that.
Without elastin, the elastic recoil that normally maintains the patency of the alveoli and respiratory bronchioles during exhalation is lost, and so these small airways collapse when the person tries to breathe out.
If air can’t get out, it becomes trapped in the alveoli, causing the airspaces to “puff up”.
Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.
Cookies are used by this site.
USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.