COPD has had many names, among which we find: Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease, (COAD); Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, (COLD); Chronic Airflow Limitation, (CAL or CAFL) and Chronic Airflow Obstruction. (COPD). Currently, it comprises two related diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, one rarely occurring without a degree of the other. According to the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society, COPD is a disorder that is characterized by reduced maximal expiratory flow and slow forced emptying of the lungs. This limitation in airflow is only minimally reversible with bronchodilators. The term CODP is encompassing and comprises those of emphysema, of chronic bronchitis, and of small airways disease. Also, it would explicitly exclude asthma, bronchiectasias, cystic fibrosis, and the localized obstruction of the upper airways.
El término EPOC es englobador y abarca el de enfisema, el de bronquitis crónica y el de la enfermedad de pequeñas vías aéreas; y de forma explícita excluiría el asma, las bronquiectasias, la fibrosis quística y la obstrucción localizada de las vías aéreas superiores.