Clinical Approach to the Therapy of Asthma-COPD Overlap

Diego J. Maselli, Megan Hardin, Stephanie A. Christenson, Nicola A. Hanania, Craig P. Hersh, Sandra G Adams, Antonio Anzueto, Jay I. Peters, Mei Lan K. Han, Fernando J. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Over the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in patients with characteristics of both asthma and COPD. Although the precise definition of asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) is still controversial, patients with overlapping features are frequently encountered in clinical practice, and may indeed have worse clinical outcomes and increased health-care utilization than those with asthma or COPD. Therefore, there is a critical need to set a framework for the therapeutic approach of such patients. There are key distinctions in the therapy between asthma and COPD, particularly regarding the initial choice of therapy. However, there is considerable overlap in the use of existing medications for both diseases. Furthermore, novel therapies approved for asthma, such as monoclonal antibodies, may have a role in patients with COPD and ACO. The use of biomarkers, such as peripheral blood eosinophils, exhaled nitric oxide, and serum IgE, may help in selecting appropriate therapies for ACO. In this review, we provide an overview of available treatments for both asthma and COPD and explore their potential role in the treatment of patients with ACO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • COPD
  • asthma
  • overlap
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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