The results of a new study show that increased serum vasoactive intestinal peptide levels may be linked with acute exacerbation of COPD.

The analysis included patients with stage II to stage IV disease as classified by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.

Researchers examined study participants in a stable state and during acute exacerbation of COPD, and they collected dedicated serum at both times. Mandal and colleagues used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to determine serum VIP levels.

The analysis included 120 patients with acute exacerbation COPD and 163 patients with stable COPD. Each group had similar baseline characteristics.

Researchers observed no significant correlation between serum VIP and oxygen saturation at rest or during exercise.

Results showed significantly higher serum VIP levels in the acute exacerbation COPD group (130.25 pg/ml; 95% CI, 112.19-151.83) compared with the stable COPD group (40.07 pg/ml; 95% CI, 37.13-43.96). This association persisted after propensity matching (P < .001).

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