Patients with COPD: irreversible air-flow limitation (postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC < 70% according to GOLD guidelines). Patients already receiving inhalative therapy can continue their medication. Patients showing a partial reversibility after bronchodilation (postbronchodilator FEV1 increase > 150 ml but < 200 ml) and complaining respiratory symptoms (e.g. dyspnea at exertion) will be treated preoperatively with a short-acting beta-agonist to achieve optimal perioperative conditions.
Patients have to be in clinical stable condition (no symptoms of respiratory tract infection for at least 2 weeks prior to the study).
Patients without COPD: postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC > 70%.