Respiratory and limb muscle dysfunction is emerging as an important pathophysiological abnormality in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Muscle abnormalities appear to occur frequently and promote dyspnea, fatigue, and exercise limitation in patients with PAH. Preliminary data suggest that targeted muscle training may be of benefit, although further evidence is required to consolidate these findings into specific recommendations for exercise training in patients with PAH. This article reviews the current evidence on prevalence, risk factors, and implications of respiratory and limb muscle dysfunction in patients with PAH. It also reviews the impact of exercise rehabilitation on morphologic, metabolic, and functional muscle profile and outcomes in PAH. Future research priorities are highlighted.
Keywords: pulmonary arterial hypertension; rehabilitation; respiratory muscles; skeletal muscle.