In chapter four of this dissertation, the heterogeneity of acute COPD exacebations was investigated using Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI).
COPD exacerbations are a major burden to patients and yet little is understood about their heterogeneity. This contributes to a current persistent one-size-fits all treatment. New insights are required in order to replace this by more personalized, precision medicine.
In this study, functional respiratory imaging proved to be a useful tool to get better insight into COPD exacerbations. Significant improvements in its indices can be demonstrated from the acute phase to resolution even in relatively small groups. FRI clearly visualized the marked variability in ventilation and resistance during exacerbations within and between individuals and it can also be used as a tool to assess the heterogeneity of COPD exacerbations.