Revisited role for mucus hypersecretion in the pathogenesis of copd

I. Cerveri, V. Brusasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous and complex disease of which the basic pathophysiological mechanisms remain largely unknown. On the basis of recent results from pathological studies and large clinical trials, the presence of airway inflammation does not seem to be sufficient to explain the complexity of the disease and the relatively poor response to treatment. It is probably time to abandon the concept of COPD as a unique disease and define, identify and treat the various aspects, which may differ between individuals. Among the different phenotypic distinctions, the classical distinction "chronic bronchitis" has mucus hypersecretion as the key presenting symptom. Its role in COPD has been the subject of an ongoing debate; however, it now appears to be being re-evaluated due to findings from recent epidemiological and pathological studies. In this context, the view that chronic mucus hypersecretion plays a secondary role in the pathogenesis of COPD should be abandoned and instead, drugs targeting mucus hypersecretion should be considered as a treatment option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number116
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Mucus hypersecretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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