Study design: Prospective single centre study.
Objectives: Pulmonary rehabilitation focuses on improving the expiratory muscle function in order to increase the reduced cough capacity in patients with cervical spinal cord injuries (SCI). However, an improvement in the inspiratory function is also important for coughing effectively. Therefore, this study was to examine the significance of the inspiratory muscle strength on the cough capacity in the patients with a cervical SCI.
Setting: SCI unit, Yonsei Rehabilitation Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Methods: The vital capacity (VC), maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP), and maximum expiratory pressure (MEP) were measured. Moreover, the unassisted peak cough flow (PCF) and assisted PCF under three conditions were evaluated.
Results: All three assisted cough methods showed a significantly higher value than the unassisted method (P < 0.001). The VC correlated with the voluntary cough capacity and the MIP (R = 0.749) correlated more significantly with the VC than the MEP (R = 0.438) (P < 0.01). The MIP showed a higher correlation with both the unassisted PCF and all three assisted PCFs than the MEP (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The management of the inspiratory muscle strength should be considered in the pulmonary rehabilitation at cervical SCI patients.