Physiological response to moderate exercise workloads in a pulmonary rehabilitation program in patients with varying degrees of airflow obstruction

Chest. 1999 Nov;116(5):1200-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.116.5.1200.

Abstract

Study objectives: To investigate whether a 12-week pulmonary rehabilitation program that includes moderately intensive exercise training performed twice weekly can induce a training effect in patients with a wide variation of airflow limitation.

Participants: Sixty patients with COPD (38 men) with a mean +/- SD FEV(1) % predicted of 55.1 +/- 19.8 (range, 0.51 to 2.99). All patients performed identical incremental symptom-limited cycle ergometer testing before and after a 12-week study period.

Measurements and results: After 12 weeks, the patients demonstrated a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the peak values for work rate (WR; 77 +/- 30 vs 91 +/- 36 W) and oxygen uptake (1.14 +/- 0.45 vs 1.20 +/- 0.52 L/min). Furthermore, at a given WR during incremental symptom-limited cycle ergometer testing, there were significant (p < 0.05) reductions in minute ventilation (42.4 +/- 16.1 vs 37.0 +/- 13. 6 L/min), carbon dioxide output (1.13 +/- 0.49 vs 1.03 +/- 0.42 L/min), ventilatory equivalent for oxygen (37.6 +/- 8.1 vs 36.0 +/- 6.3), and heart rate (135 +/- 15 vs 128 +/- 16 beats/min). None of the observed physiologic changes correlated with FEV(1) % predicted.

Conclusions: A pulmonary rehabilitation program performed twice weekly with moderate exercise workloads can lead to a physiologic training response irrespective of the degree of airflow limitation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Vital Capacity