Respiratory care

Diagnostic Utility of Biomarkers in COPD.

PMID 26106205


COPD will become the third leading cause of death by 2020. There are many situations in which spirometry, the primary tool for diagnosis of COPD, cannot be performed, and thus, the staging and status of these patients cannot be determined. To date, there is no known biochemical marker used for diagnosing COPD. This study aimed to explore the utility of biomarkers for diagnosis of COPD. This was an observational study composed of 96 stable subjects with COPD and 96 subjects with normal lung function. Each group contained an equal number of smokers and nonsmokers. Serum levels of superoxide dismutase 3, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, ceruloplasmin ferroxidase activity, C-reactive protein, and surfactant protein D (SPD) were estimated. Ferroxidase activity was estimated by a kinetic method, whereas the other analytes were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The cutoff value, sensitivity and specificity at the cutoff value, and area under the curve for each analyte were determined from receiver operating characteristic curve. Significantly decreased superoxide dismutase 3 and increased ferroxidase activity, SPD, glutathione peroxidase, and C-reactive protein levels were found in subjects with COPD. For all subjects and nonsmoking subjects with COPD, the area under the curve was highest for ferroxidase activity, followed by glutathione peroxidase, SPD, and C-reactive protein, with a sensitivity and specificity of > 73%. For smoking subjects with COPD, the area under the curve was highest for SPD, followed by glutathione peroxidase, ferroxidase activity, and C-reactive protein, with a sensitivity and specificity > 67%. Some combinations of markers were found to give either a sensitivity or specificity of > 95%, which can be utilized to rule in and rule out COPD. Biomarkers can be reliably utilized in the diagnosis of COPD. Of all the markers, SPD appears to be the most promising in smokers, whereas ferroxidase activity shows promise in nonsmokers. To rule out COPD, ferroxidase activity or glutathione peroxidase can be potentially useful, whereas to rule in COPD, ferroxidase activity and glutathione peroxidase appear to be the most promising combination in both nonsmoking and smoking subjects.