- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) runs an insidious course, measured over years, with an often undiagnosed initial phase. See ASSESSMENT | MEDICAL HISTORY. See ASSESSMENT | EXPOSURE HISTORY.
- Its presence can be suspected after a directed clinical evaluation and then confirmed physiologically with a simple spirometry. See TESTING | ALL PATIENTS. See TESTING | SELECTED PATIENTS.
- Chest radiography helps in differential diagnosis. See DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- Other tests may be useful to better determine the phenotype and physiological characteristics of individual patients.
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