Criteria

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria[1]

Classification of severity of airflow limitation in COPD:

In pulmonary function testing, a postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio of <0.70 is commonly considered diagnostic for COPD. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) system categorizes airflow limitation into stages. In patients with FEV1/FVC <0.70:

  • GOLD 1 - mild: FEV1 ≥80% predicted

  • GOLD 2 - moderate: 50% ≤ FEV1 <80% predicted

  • GOLD 3 - severe: 30% ≤ FEV1 <50% predicted

  • GOLD 4 - very severe: FEV1 <30% predicted.

The GOLD guideline uses a combined COPD assessment approach to group patients according to symptoms and previous history of exacerbations. Symptoms are assessed using the Modified British Medical Research Council (mMRC) or COPD assessment test (CAT) scale. These can be found in the GOLD guidelines.[1] GOLD cautions against the use of the mMRC dyspnea scale alone for assessing patients, as symptoms of COPD go beyond dyspnea alone. For this reason, the CAT is preferred. However, GOLD acknowledges that the use of the mMRC scale is widespread, and so a threshold of an mMRC grade ≥2 is still included to define 'more breathless' patients in its assessment criteria.[1]

  • Group A: low risk (0-1 exacerbation per year, not requiring hospitalization) and fewer symptoms (mMRC 0-1 or CAT <10)

  • Group B: low risk (0-1 exacerbation per year, not requiring hospitalization) and more symptoms (mMRC≥ 2 or CAT≥ 10)

  • Group C: high risk (≥2 exacerbations per year, or one or more requiring hospitalization) and fewer symptoms (mMRC 0-1 or CAT <10)

  • Group D: high risk (≥2 exacerbations per year, or one or more requiring hospitalization) and more symptoms (mMRC≥ 2 or CAT≥ 10).

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