Assisted cough and pulmonary compliance in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Yonsei Med J. 2005 Apr 30;46(2):233-8. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2005.46.2.233.


The aim of this study was to investigate the factors affecting cough ability, and to compare the assisted cough methods in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A total seventy-one male patients with DMD were included in the study. The vital capacity (VC) and maximum insufflation capacity (MIC) were measured. The unassisted peak cough flow (UPCF) and three different techniques of assisted peak cough flow were evaluated. UPCF measurements were possible for all 71 subjects. But when performing the three different assisted cough techniques, peak cough flows (PCFs) could be obtained from only 51 subjects. The mean value of MICs (1801 +/- 780 cc) was higher than that of VCs (1502 +/- 765 cc) (p< 0.01). All three assisted cough methods showed a significantly higher value than the unassisted method (F=80.92, p< 0.01). The manual assisted PCF under MIC (MPCFmic) significantly exceeded those produced by manual assisted PCF (MPCF) or PCF under MIC (PCFmic). The positive correlation between the MIC, VC difference (MIC-VC), and the difference between PCFmic and UPCF (PCFmic-UPCF) was seen (r=0.572, p< 0.01). The preservation of pulmonary compliance is important for the development of an effective cough as well as assisting the compression and expulsive phases. Thus, the clinical importance of the inspiratory phase and pulmonary compliance in assisting a cough should be emphasized.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Inspiratory Capacity
  • Lung Compliance*
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Respiratory Therapy*
  • Vital Capacity