While quitting smoking improves forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), inflammatory cell counts were similar in current and ex-smokers with COPD, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

In the study led by Neil Barnes, MD, PhD, London Chest Hospital, cell count data from 101 subjects, 65 current smokers and 36 ex-smokers revealed no significant differences between smokers and ex-smokers in the numbers inflammatory cell types or markers including CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes, CD68+ (monocytes/macrophages), neutrophil elastase+ (neutrophils), EG2+ (eosinophils), mast cell tryptase+ and cells mRNA-positive for tumour necrosis factor-{alpha}.

While it was demonstrated that the bronchial mucosal inflammatory cell infiltrate is similar in ex-smokers and those that continue to smoke, researchers needing to look at other inflammatory mediators and duration of smoking cessation as factors in COPD.

To read the full abstract, click here.