The impact of anti-eosinophilic therapy on exercise capacity and inspiratory muscle strength in patients with severe asthma.

Franceschi E; Drick N; Fuge J; Santus P; Fischer B; Kayser M; Welte T; Suhling H;

ERJ open research [ERJ Open Res] 2023 Mar 20; Vol. 9 (2).
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Mar 20 (Print Publication: 2023).

Introduction: Exercise limitation is frequently described among asthmatic patients and could be related to different mechanisms of the pulmonary, cardiovascular and muscular systems. Despite this, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) does not have an established role in the management of severe asthma. The aim of our study was to investigate the role of CPET and inspiratory pressure measurement in exercise capacity and muscle strength in severe asthmatic patients treated with anti-IL-5 therapy.
Methods: A monocentric observational study was conducted at Hanover Medical School, Germany, from April 2018 to June 2019. Patients affected by severe asthma treated with either mepolizumab or benralizumab were included. All patients underwent CPET before the initiation of antibody therapy and after 3 months, and follow-up visits were scheduled at 3, 6 and 12 months with plethysmography, inspiratory pressure measurement and blood gas analysis.
Results: 14 patients were enrolled: 10 (71.4%) females, median age 52 years (IQR 47-61). Seven patients were treated with benralizumab, seven with mepolizumab. Oxygen uptake ( VO 2 peak) did not change significantly after 3 months of antibody treatment, while the mean value of the breathing reserve exhaustion reduced significantly from 78% to 60% (p=0.004). Whereas at baseline seven patients depleted the breathing reserve and two of them experienced oxygen desaturation during exercise, at 3 months no one presented any desaturation or breathing reserve exhaustion. The inspiratory pressure remained unchanged before and after the antibody therapy.
Conclusion: CPET could show hints of alveolar recruitment and ventilatory efficiency in severe asthma patients treated with antibody therapy.