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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 15, Suppl A, Pages 1A-8A

Canadian Thoracic Society Recommendations for Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – 2008 Update – Highlights for Primary Care

Denis E O’Donnell,1 Paul Hernandez,2 Alan Kaplan,3 Shawn Aaron,4 Jean Bourbeau,5 Darcy Marciniuk,6 Meyer Balter,7 Gordon Ford,8 Andre Gervais,9 Yves Lacasse,10 Francois Maltais,10 Jeremy Road,11 Graeme Rocker,2 Don Sin,11 Tasmin Sinuff,12 and Nha Voduc4

1Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
2Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
3Family Physicians Airway Group of Canada, Richmond Hill, Canada
4University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
5McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
7University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
8University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
9University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
10University of Laval, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada
11University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
12McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2008 Canadian Thoracic Society. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (, which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major respiratory illness in Canada that is preventable and treatable but unfortunately remains underdiagnosed. The purpose of the present article from the Canadian Thoracic Society is to provide up-to-date information so that patients with this condition receive optimal care that is firmly based on scientific evidence. Important summary messages for clinicians are derived from the more detailed Update publication and are highlighted throughout the document. Three key messages contained in the update are: use targeted screening spirometry to establish a diagnosis and initiate prompt management (including smoking cessation) of mild COPD; improve dyspnea and activity limitation in stable COPD using new evidence-based treatment algorithms; and understand the importance of preventing and managing acute exacerbations, particularly in moderate to severe disease.