Background Pulmonary involvement in AS patients varies depending on the diagnostic method applied, its frequency beeing reported to be between 20% and 57% using spirometry, and between 40% and 80% in studies in which high resolution computed tomography was applied. Patients with AS have reduced pulmonary muscle strength and endurance.
Objectives To evaluate the impact of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on aerobic capacity and pulmonary function in patients with AS.
Methods Fifty-four AS patients (mean age: 47.8±6.8 years old, all males) were randomized into either conventional rehabilitation exercise training associated with IMT, or to a conventional rehabilitation exercise training group only.
All patients were assessed before and after the rehabilitation program, with respect to resting pulmonary function test (forced vital capacity - FVC, forced expiration volume in one second - FEV1), and cardiopulmonary exercise test (peak oxygen uptake - VO2peak, metabolic equivalents for oxygen – VE/VO2 and carbon dioxide - VE/VCO2).
The IMT sessions were performed using a real time computer assisted device (Trainair, Project Electronics Limited, United Kingdom) and took place three times a week for a period of 8 weeks. Each IMT session was individualized by evaluating the maximum inspiratory pressure that can be maintained by the patient throughout the inspiratory phase (SMIP) and was performed at 80-85% of SMIP.
Results The two groups were homogenous in terms of pulmonary function and physical performances, as we found no statistical significant differences at the beginning of the study.There were significant increases in in followed parameters after rehabilitation programme in Group 1. Small improvements can be observed in pulmonary function and cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters of Group 2, but without reaching the statistical significance.
Conclusions AS patients who performed 8 weeks of IMT associated to conventional exercise training had an increased chest expansion, a better aerobic capacity, resting pulmonary function and ventilatory efficiency than those who performed conventional exercise training only. IMT is a feasible treatment option in patients with pulmonary dysfunction due to AS.
Disclosure of Interest None declared