Effects of combined inspiratory muscle and cycle ergometer training on exercise performance in patients with COPD

T Wanke, D Formanek, H Lahrmann, H Brath, M Wild, C Wagner, H Zwick
European Respiratory Journal 1994, 7 (12): 2205-11
Cycle ergometer training plays an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but the usefulness of specific inspiratory muscle training as part of pulmonary rehabilitation remains uncertain. To determine whether inspiratory muscle training could intensify the known beneficial effects of cycle ergometer training on exercise performance in these patients, we compared the effect of an 8 week inspiratory muscle training combined with cycle ergometer training with that of an 8 week cycle ergometer training alone on inspiratory muscle performance and general exercise capacity. Patients were randomly assigned to the two training groups; 21 patients received additional inspiratory muscle training (Group 1) and 21 did not (Group 2). Maximal sniff assessed oesophageal and transdiaphragmatic pressures served as parameters for global inspiratory muscle strength and diaphragmatic strength, respectively. The duration for which the patient could breathe against a constant inspiratory pressure load was used as an index of inspiratory muscle endurance. Exercise capacity was determined by an incremental symptom-limited cycle ergometer test. After the training period, inspiratory muscle performance improved significantly in the patients with inspiratory muscle training, but not in those without. Both training regimens increased maximal power output and oxygen uptake, but this improvement was significantly greater in the patients with inspiratory muscle training than in those without.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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