Exercise testing in patients with diaphragm paresis

Palau P; Domínguez E; Núñez J,

European Journal Of Heart Failure [Eur J Heart Fail], ISSN: 1879-0844, 2017 Nov 16;

Purpose: Diaphragm paresis (DP) is characterized by abnormalities of respiratory muscle function. However, the impact of DP on exercise capacity is not well known. This study was performed to assess exercise tolerance in patients with DP and to determine whether inspiratory muscle function was related to exercise capacity, ventilatory pattern and cardiovascular function during exercise.
Methods: This retrospective study included patients with DP who underwent both diaphragmatic force measurements, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET).
Results: Fourteen patients were included. Dyspnea was the main symptom limiting exertion (86%). Exercise capacity was slightly reduced (median VO2peak: 80% [74.5%-90.5%]), mostly due to ventilatory limitation. Diaphragm and overall inspiratory muscle function were correlated with exercise ventilation. Moreover, overall inspiratory muscle function was related with oxygen consumption (r=0.61) and maximal workload (r=0.68).
Conclusions: DP decreases aerobic capacity due to ventilatory limitation. Diaphragm function is correlated with exercise ventilation whereas overall inspiratory muscle function is correlated with both exercise capacity and ventilation suggesting the importance of the accessory inspiratory muscles during exercise for patients with DP. Further larger prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.