Frequency of raised red cell distribution width in acute exacerbation of COPD patients

Maham Khan, Maria Batool, Hina Rashid, Ammad Saddique, Haseeb Ahmad, Waleed Abdullah


Objective: objective of our study is to investigate and establish the frequency of raised red cell distribution width in acute exacerbation of COPD patients.

Study design: Cross sectional study

Place and Duration of study: This study was conducted in pulmonology department of Nishtar Hospital Multan from January 2016 to December 2017.

Methods: Total 384 patients were selected by non-probability consecutive sampling and approval of study was taken from ethical committee of the institution. Written permission of study was signed by every patient enrolled in study. Numerical variables like age, weight, white blood cells, platelets, MCV, hemoglobin (Hb) and duration of COPD were analyzed statically by taking their mean and standard deviation and t-test was applied to test their significance. Non numerical variables like gender, anemia, thrombocytopenia, income and area of living were statistically analyzed by taking their frequency and chi square test was applied to test their significance. While the outcome variable red cell distribution width was assessed by 3-part hematology chamber.

Results: Overall, there were 100% (n=384) patients were included, in this study, both genders. There were 60.7% (n=233) males and 39.3% (n=151) females. 72.1% (n=277) patients belonged to urban areas while 27.9% (n=107) belonged to rural areas. 69% (n=265) had good income and 31% (n=119) had low income. The mean age and BMI of the patients was 65.22±6.45 years and 26.21±2.18 kg/m2 respectively. There were 26% (n=100) patients between 40-60 years while majority of the patients i.e. 74% (n=284) between 61-80 years of age. The distribution of BMI of the patients observed as; 39.3% (n=151) patients between 18-25 kg/m2 and 60.7% (n=233) patients between 26-32 kg/m2. The main outcome variable of this study was red cell distribution width. The Mean±S.D of red cell distribution width was 14.03±1.62%. While, red cell distribution width noted as normal and raised; 54.9% (n=211) and 45.1% (n=173) respectively.

Conclusion: Study concluded that there was significant prevalence of raised red cell distribution width (RDW) in acute exacerbation of COPD patients. This easy, inexpensive and quick parameter should be investigated further. So it can be used as prognostic marker and predictor of mortality in acute exacerbation of COPD patients.

Key words: Acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD), red cell distribution width (RDW), COPD, Inflammation.

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