The employment of systemic corticosteroids in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been shown to improve airway limitation, decrease treatment failure and risk of relapse, and may improve symptoms in addition to decreasing the length of hospital stay. Nowadays, all clinical guidelines recommend systemic corticosteroids to treat moderate or severe COPD exacerbations. However, their use is associated with potential side effects, mainly hyperglycemia. In the era of precision medicine, the possibility of employing blood eosinophil count has emerged as a potential way of optimizing therapy. Issues regarding the intra-individual variability of blood eosinophil count determination, a lack of clear data regarding the real prevalence of eosinophilic acute exacerbations, the fact that previously published studies have demonstrated the benefit of systemic corticosteroids irrespective of eosinophil levels, and especially the fact that there is only one well-designed study justifying this approach have led us to think that we are not ready to use eosinophil count to guide treatment with systemic corticosteroids during acute exacerbations of COPD.
Marcos, P. J., & López-Campos, J. L. (2018). Shall We Focus on the Eosinophil to Guide Treatment with Systemic Corticosteroids during Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)? CON. Medical Sciences, 6(2), 49. https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6020049