Radation Therapy – Term Paper Example

Treatment Advancements for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Treatment Advancements for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is among the most common lung complications which make breathing extremely difficult (Better Health Research, 2010, p. 130). COPD occurs in two major forms. The first form of COPD is chronic bronchitis, which comes in the form of a long-term cough with mucus. The second form of COPD is emphysema, which causes the destruction of the lungs in the long run. Most patients suffering from COPD usually suffer from a combination of both chronic bronchitis and emphysema (Hadjiliadis & Zieve, 2011). Research indicates that the major cause of COPD is as a result of smoking and related risk factors that expose an individual to smoke.
The complexity of clinical pathological changes in patients with COPD, results from the fact that the changes take place in large airways, small airways, pulmonary arteries, as well as lung parenchyma. A patient may have a combination of any of these three pathological changes. Patients will experience severe mismatch between ventilation and perfusion. This will result into arterial hypoxaemia, hence the inefficiency of the lungs in exchanging gases (Russell, Anzueto, & Weisman, 2011, p. 48). Such abnormalities include hypersecretion of mucus, cilia dysfunction, limitation of airflow, hyperinflation, pulmonary hypertension, gas exchange abnormalities and systemic effects (Rodriguez-Roisin & MacNee, 2006, p. 177).
Traditional studies on the pathophysiology of COPD in patients were done on post mortem lungs with end-stage lung complications. These studies emphasized on macroscopic emphysema. However, more recent studies have been performed in individuals with COPD, and undergoing the resection of the lungs especially for peripheral bronchial carcinoma. In these studies, respiratory function tests are based on small airways disease measurements, as well as both microscopic and macroscopic emphysema. Thus, unlike traditional studies, recent studies on the pathophysiology of COPD involve patients with severe cases of COPD, who have undergone surgery to reduce the volume of the lungs (Rodriguez-Roisin & MacNee, 2006, p. 177). For instance, lung computed tomography (CT) is a crucial technique in recent studies, which facilitates the quantification of emphysema. The technique is associated with both the function and morphology of the lungs.
Better Health Research. (2010). Treatment Advancements May Benefit Malnutrition COPD Patients. Retrieved from http://www.betterhealthresearch.com/news/treatment- advancements-may-benefit- malnutrition-copd-patients-800120356
Hadjiliadis, D., & Zieve, D. (2011). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001153/
Rodriguez-Roisin, R., & MacNee, W. (2006). Pathophysiology of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. European Respiratory Monograph, 38 (4), 177-200.
Russell, R., Anzueto, A., & Weisman, I. (2011). Optimizing Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the Upcoming Decade. International Journal of COPD, 6 (4), 47-61.