Impact of a Positive Viral Polymerase Chain Reaction on Outcomes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Exacerbations
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
More than 15 million adults in the USA have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) places a high burden on the healthcare system. Many hospital admissions are due to an exacerbation, which is suspected to be from a viral cause. The purpose of this analysis was to compare the outcomes of patients with a positive and negative respiratory virus panel who were admitted to the hospital with COPD exacerbations. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was
... e cohort study was conducted in the Geisinger Healthcare System. The dataset included 2729 patient encounters between 1 January 2006 and 30 November 2017. Hospital length of stay was calculated as the discrete number of calendar days a patient was in the hospital. Patient encounters with a positive and negative respiratory virus panel were compared using Pearson's chi-square or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables and Student's t-test or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests for continuous variables. Results: There were 1626 patients with a total of 2729 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation encounters. Nineteen percent of those encounters (n = 524) had a respiratory virus panel performed during their admission. Among these encounters, 161 (30.7%) had positive results, and 363 (69.3%) had negative results. For encounters with the respiratory virus panel, the mean age was 64.5, 59.5% were female, 98.9% were white, and the mean body mass index was 26.6. Those with a negative respiratory virus panel had a higher median white blood cell count (11.1 vs. 9.9, p = 0.0076). There were no other statistically significant differences in characteristics between the two groups. Respiratory virus panel positive patients had a statistically significant longer hospital length of stay. There were no significant differences with respect to being on mechanical ventilation or ventilation-free days. Conclusion: This study shows that a positive respiratory virus panel is associated with increased length of hospital stay. Early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation patients with positive viral panel would help identify patients with a longer length of stay.