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British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2005
  1. T M A Wilkinson,
  2. R Baghai-Ravery,
  3. W R Perera
  1. Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr T M A Wilkinson
    Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London NW3 2PF, UK; tomw1970{at}

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An overview of some of the key topics presented at the BTS Winter Meeting held in London in December 2005

The annual winter British Thoracic Society (BTS) meeting held in London on 7–9 December 2005 combined a fascinating retrospective of past achievements in respiratory medicine while looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. The meeting provided, as usual, a vital platform for clinicians to share best practice and to keep abreast of the rapidly advancing speciality. A highlight was the celebration of the 20th anniversary of British Lung Foundation, with a review of the major advances in respiratory medical research made in recent years.


The priority given to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at this meeting reflected both the clinical burden of disease and the current interest in terms of clinical and basic research in this field. In a lively “pro-con” debate, some of the more controversial issues in disease management were addressed. Arguments included the new BTS President Professor Peter Calverley’s persuasive case that COPD was indeed a useful diagnostic term, as well as lively debate on the evidence for the use of inhaled corticosteroids. With the radical reforms to the provision of home oxygen imminent, a number of sessions concentrated on the new service and the potential impact on patients and providers alike. A presentation highlighted the increase in service provision required to support home oxygen assessments,1 while posters highlighted the benefits of developing a register of COPD patients suitable for long term oxygen therapy (LTOT)2 and the efficacy of ambulatory oxygen in pulmonary rehabilitation.3

The pathogenesis of airways obstruction and exacerbations were the focus for presentations on the role of infection and inflammation in COPD. Highlighting the recent advances in our understanding of this condition, presentations ranged from the findings of a study …

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