Evaluation of pulmonary function and bicycle ergometry tests in patients with Behçet's disease

Figen Gökoğlu, Z Rezan Yorgancioğlu, Nilgün Ustün, Figen Ayhan Ardiç
Clinical Rheumatology 2007, 26 (9): 1421-5
Behçet's disease (BD) has well-defined pulmonary complications, but cardiopulmonary exercise testing and the strength of the respiratory muscles have not been studied in detail. We aimed to investigate the pulmonary functions tests, inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength and endurance, cardiopulmonary exercise test response, and the relationship of these parameters in patients with BD. Forty BD patients and 20 healthy control subjects were recruited for this study. Mean age was 32.95 +/- 7.66 years for the BD group and 33.85 +/- 6.63 years for the control group with no statistically significant difference. The ratios of slight obstructive ventilatory impairment were 32.5% for the BD group. When the values of pulmonary function tests were compared, no statistically significant difference was found in FEV(1)/FVC (Forced expiratory volume during the first second/forced vital capacity), or maximal midexpiratory flow rate (all in percent) values between patient and control groups. Maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, peak expiratory flow rate (in percent) and maximal voluntary ventilation (in percent) values were significantly lower than those of the control group. Body's consumption of peak oxygen (VO(2peak)), oxygen consumption (milliliters per kilogram per minute), anaerobic threshold (AT), maximum exercise ventilation (VE(max)), work load values, and exercise test time in the bicycle exercise test were significantly higher in control groups than in patients with BD. The values of heart rate reserve, breathing reserve, and VE/VCO(2) at the AT of BD patients were within normal limits We conclude that respiratory and aerobic exercise may be recommended to improve respiratory muscle strength and endurance as well as the aerobic capacity and maximal ventilatory capacity in patients with BD.

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