Cough capacity in patients with muscular dystrophy

Chest. 1988 Dec;94(6):1232-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.94.6.1232.


Cough capacity was evaluated in 22 patients with muscular dystrophy (MD) using subjective cough assessment, cough flow-volume curves, maximum expiratory pressures (MEP), forced vital capacity (FVC), and peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR). In ten of the 22 patients transients of peak flow were generated during cough flow-volume maneuvers, indicating dynamic compression of the airways, which is considered important in the physiology of an efficient cough. Patients who could not generate peak flow transients had significantly reduced PEFR, FVC, and MEP values. Measurement of MEP was the most sensitive predictor of flow transient production during coughing; all of the patients who exhibited transients had MEP values of above 60 cmH2O, whereas the highest value of MEP recorded in patients without transients was 45 cmH2O. Three of the 12 patients who were unable to generate flow transients were considered to have an adequate cough by subjective assessment. We concluded that the measurement of MEP is extremely useful for assessment of cough strength in patients with MD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow-Volume Curves
  • Mouth / physiopathology
  • Muscular Dystrophies / physiopathology*
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Spirometry
  • Vital Capacity