The Respiratory “Overlap Syndrome”: Efficacy and Usefulness of the Combined Double Bronchodilation

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Abstract

The coexistence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in a single patient is known as “overlap syndrome,” and worsens the prognosis of the affected subjects. A marked bronchodilation may be useful for the treatment of this condition. In fact, as stated in the GOLD 2017 guidelines, the combination of indacaterol/glycopyrronium may exert positive synergistic effects on smooth muscle cell and airway resistance, with a more pronounced efficiency in reducing lung hyperinflation. Noteworthy, inhaled bronchodilators favorably alter the dynamically determined components of resting lung hyperinflation and help deflate the overinflated lungs. This is particularly important in order to improve dyspnea, exercise performance, and night saturation, especially when combined with continuous positive airway pressure ventilation, as reported in our case series. We report 3 cases of patients with COPD in a stable clinical condition, referred to the Department of Respiratory Pathophysiology at the “Mariano Santo” Hospital in Cosenza, due to possible symptoms suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea, and who were successfully treated with indacaterol/glycopyrronium at a fixed dose.

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