Air Current Applied to the Face Improves Exercise Performance in Patients with COPD
Purpose: Improving dyspnea and exercise performance are goals of COPD therapy. We tested the hypothesis that air current applied to the face would lessen dyspnea and improve exercise performance in moderate-severe COPD patients.
Methods: We recruited 10 COPD patients (5 men, age 62 ± 6 years, FEV1 0.93 ± 0.11 L (34 ± 3 % predicted), TLC 107 ± 6 %, RV 172 ± 18 %) naïve to the study hypothesis. Each patient was randomized in a crossover fashion to lower extremity ergometry at constant submaximal workload with a 12-diameter fan directed at the patients face or exposed leg. Each patients' studies were separated by at least 1 week. Inspiratory capacity and Borg dyspnea score were measured every 2 min and at maximal exercise.
Results: Total exercise time was longer when the fan was directed to the face (14.3 ± 12 vs. 9.4 ± 7.6 min, face vs. leg, respectively, p = 0.03). Inspiratory capacity tended to be greater with the fan directed to the face (1.4 (0.6-3.25) vs. 1.26 (0.56-2.89) L, p = 0.06). There was a reduction in dynamic hyperinflation, as reflected by higher IRV area in the fan on face group (553 ± 562 a.u. vs. 328 ± 319 a.u., p = 0.047). There was a significant improvement in the Borg dyspnea score at maximal exercise (5.0 (0-10) vs. 6.5 (0-10), p = 0.03), despite exercising for 34 % longer with the fan directed to the face.
Conclusions: Air current applied to the face improves exercise performance in COPD. Possible mechanisms include an alteration in breathing pattern that diminishes development of dynamic hyperinflation or to a change in perception of breathlessness.
Published In/Presented At
Marchetti, N., Lammi, M. R., Travaline, J. M., Ciccolella, D., Civic, B., & Criner, G. J. (2015). Air Current Applied to the Face Improves Exercise Performance in Patients with COPD. Lung, 193(5), 725-731. doi:10.1007/s00408-015-9780-0
Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty