BMJ open 2017 08 117(8) e015731 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015731
Clinical onset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the point at which the disease is first identifiable by physicians. It is a poorly defined stage which seems to include both mild spirometric and non-spirometric disease, and could be described as early grade COPD, for practical purposes. While dyspnoea; chronic bronchitis and CT imaging evidence of emphysema and airway disease may be present very early, the lone significance of dyspnoea, the most relevant symptom in COPD in identifying these individuals, has been scarcely assessed.The Searching Clinical COPD Onset (SOON) Study was designed primarily to detect clinical, physiological and structural differences between dyspnoeic and non-dyspnoeic individuals with early grade COPD. It is hypothesised that presence of dyspnoea in early disease may identify a subtype of individuals with reduced exercise capacity, notwithstanding of their spirometry results. In addition, dyspnoeic individuals will share worse quality of life, lower physical activity, greater lung hyperinflation greater emphysema and airway thickness and reduced peripheral muscle mass than their non-dyspnoeic counterpart.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS
SOON is a monocentric study, with a cross sectional design aimed at obtaining representative samples of current or ex-smoker-adults aged ≥45 and ≤80 years. Two hundred and forty participants will be enrolled into four strata, according to normal spirometry or mild spirometric obstruction and presence or not of dyspnoea modified Medical Research Council score ≥1. The primary outcome will be the difference between dyspnoeic and non-dyspnoeic individuals on the 6-min walk test performance, regardless of their spirometry results. To account for the confounding effect of heart failure on dyspnoea, stress echocardiography will be also performed. Secondary outcomes will include clinical (quality of life, physical activity), physiological (exercise testing) and structural characteristics (emphysema, airway disease and peripheral muscle mass by CT imaging).
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION
The Institutional Ethics Committee from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile has approved the study protocol and signed informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The findings of the trial will be disseminated through relevant peer-reviewed journals and international conference presentations.
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