Medical Definition of Disease, chronic obstructive lung (COLD)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Disease, chronic obstructive lung (COLD): Any disorder that persistently obstructs bronchial airflow. COLD mainly involves two related diseases -- chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both cause chronic obstruction of air flowing through the airways and in and out of the lungs. The obstruction is generally permanent and progresses (becomes worse) over time.

In asthma there is also obstruction of airflow out of the lungs, but the obstruction is usually reversible and between attacks of asthma the flow of air through the airways is usually good.

COLD is also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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