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Table 2 Bronchial epithelial features of smokers and ex-smokers with COPD

From: Smoking cessation and bronchial epithelial remodelling in COPD: a cross-sectional study

  COPD Smokers COPD Ex-smokers p-value §
   combined group quit < 3.5 years quit ≥3.5 years  
SCM (% of epithelium) 0 (0–27.5) 0 (0-0)* 0 (0–10.4) 0 (0-0) 0.076
SCM (% of patients) 45.7 22.5* 26.3 19.0* 0.049
PAS/AB+ area (%) 14.4 (5.2–20.7) 8.1 (3.7–17.2)† 13.5 (6.6–19.6) 7.9 (2.2–16.2)*‡ 0.011
Ki-67+ cells (/mm BSM) 18.6 (5.3–38.8) 6.2 (1.5–15.6)* 6.9 (4.4–27.6) 2.8 (0.23–13.1)* <0.001
EGFR+ area (%) 11.4 (3.2–17.6) 8.2 (3.2–20.4) 6.7 (2.4–20.4) 8.6 (3.9–21.5) 0.95
Intensity EGFR+ area (grey value) 697 (175–1182) 513 (203–1479) 372 (125–1479) 517 (215–1424) 0.95
  1. Data represent median (IQR: 25th – 75th percentile). PAS/AB = Periodic acid-Schiff/Alcian blue, SCM = squamous cell metaplasia, EGFR = Epidermal growth factor receptor.
  2. * p < 0.05: compared to COPD smokers, † p < 0.05: compared to COPD smokers adjusted for differences in squamous cell metaplasia (linear regression), ‡ p < 0.05: compared to COPD ex-smokers who quit <3.5 yrs, §p-value from Kruskal-Wallis test between current smokers, < and ≥3.5 yrs ex-smokers with COPD.