Objectives: Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a measure of red blood cell size heterogeneity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the RDW level and characteristics of the COPD exacerbations.
Methods: The records of the hospitalized COPD patients were evaluated retrospectively. The demographic characteristics, duration of follow-up and the numbers of exacerbations and hospitalizations, duration of the hospital stay, need of non-invasive mechanic ventilation (NIMV) or intensive care unit (ICU) and laboratory findings were recorded.
Results: There were 35 women (18.5%), 154 men (81.5%), totally 189 patients whose mean age was 67.4± 10.6 years. The mean durations of follow-up and hospitalization were respectively 2.85±2.5 years and 8.5±5.4 days. Forty one of the patients (22%) were current smoker and 115 of them (61.8%) were ex-smoker. Nearly one third of the patients (34.9%) had increased RDW levels. When the patients with increased RDW level compared to normal ones; no statistically significant difference was found with respect to the gender, smoking history, smoking package of years, numbers of the exacerbation and hospitalization, duration of hospital stay and need of NIMV or ICU. However, it was found that the presence of exitus was significantly higher in patients with increased RDW level (p=0.02).
Conclusion: This study suggested that increased level of RDW might be related with increased mortality in COPD patients. Further long-term prospective studies with healthy controls and COPD patients in both stable or exacerbation period are needed in order to evaluate clinical significance of these findings.
Manuscripts that are Published Ahead of Print have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal. They may appear in their original format and may not be copy edited or formatted in the style guide of this Journal. While accepted manuscripts are not yet assigned a volume, issue or page numbers, they can be cited using the DOI and date of e-publication. See our Instructions for Authors on how to properly cite manuscripts at this stage. The contents of the manuscript may change before it is published in its final form. Manuscripts in this section will be removed once they have been issued to a volume and issue, but will still retain the DOI and date of e-publication.