The goal of this study was to show whether a correlation exists between the intensity of specific respiratory muscle training and the improvement of strength and endurance in inspiratory musculature in patients with neuromuscular disorders (NMD). Sixteen patients with NMD (13 with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and 3 with spinal muscular atrophy) performed inspiratory muscle training (IMT) at home with a special training apparatus for 9 months. Maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (PI(MAX)) and 12s-maximum voluntary ventilation (12s-MVV) test served as parameters for inspiratory muscle strength and endurance, respectively. In patients whose inspiratory vital capacity (VC(in)) declined by less than 10% during the year before training began (n = 10), a significant positive correlation was found between the number of successfully completed strength and endurance exercises and the improvement of PI(MAX) (P < 0.05) and 12s-MVV (P < 0.05). In patients whose VC(in)-decline exceeded 10% (n = 6), indicating more progressive respiratory system involvement of the disease, no significant correlation between the improvement of PI(MAX) and 12s-MVV and the intensity of training was found. In patients with NMD, the effects of IMT-runs are dose-dependent, provided that the respiratory system involvement of the disease is only slowly progressive.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.