C5.12 Trials of Therapy
The evidence supporting the utility of specific diagnostic tests in COPD is typically not of the same strength as that for specific therapies reviewed in subsequent sections. The evidence base for tests used in the diagnosis and monitoring of a number of respiratory diseases at one specialist referral clinic was reviewed by Borrill et al (Borrill 2003). They were unable to identify any evidence to support the use of peak flow charts to assess treatment with inhaled corticosteroids in patients with pre-diagnosed COPD. Studies were found that did not support the diagnostic use of trials of therapy with inhaled or oral corticosteroids in COPD. There was no evidence to support the diagnostic use of trials of therapy with short or long acting bronchodilators or oral theophyllines in COPD. However, it should be remembered that absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence of utility.
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