Inspiratory Muscle Training in Patients with Bronchial Asthma

      In patients with asthma, the respiratory muscles have to overcome the increased resistance while they become progressively disadvantaged by hyperinflation. We hypothesized that increasing respiratory muscle strength and endurance with specific inspiratory muscle training (SIMT) would result in improvement in asthma symptoms in patients with asthma. Thirty patients with moderate to severe asthma were recruited into 2 groups; 15 patients received SIMT (group A) and 15 patients were assigned to the control group (group B) and got sham training in a double-blind group-comparative trial. The training was performed using a threshold inspiratory muscle trainer. Subjects of both groups trained five times a week, each session consisted of ½-h training, for six months. Inspiratory muscle strength, as expressed by the PImax at RV, increased significantly, from 84.0 ± 4.3 to 107.0 ± 4.8 cm H2O (p<0.0001) and the respiratory muscle endurance, as expressed by the relationship between Pmpeak and PImax from 67.5 ± 3.1 percent to 93.1 ± 1.2 percent (p<0.0001), in patients of group A, but not in patients of group B. This improvement was associated with significant improvements compared with baseline for asthma symptoms (nighttime asthma, p<0.05; morning tightness, p<0.05; daytime asthma, p<0.01; cough, p<0.005), inhaled B2 usage (p<0.05), and the number of hospital (p<0.05) and sick-leave (p<0.05) days due to asthma. Five patients were able to stop taking oral/IM corticosteroids while on training and one in the placebo group. We conclude that SIMT, for six months, improves the inspiratory muscle strength and endurance, and results in improvement in asthma symptoms, hospitalizations for asthma, emergency department contact, absence from school or work, and medication consumption in patients with asthma.
      Pmeak (peak pressure), SIMT (specific inspiratory muscle training), TIMT (threshold inspiratory muscle trainer)
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