alexa Acute effects of deep diaphragmatic breathing in COPD patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency.
Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Author(s): Vitacca M

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This study investigated the impact of deep diaphragmatic breathing (DB) on blood gases, breathing pattern, pulmonary mechanics and dyspnoea in severe hypercapnic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients recovering from an acute exacerbation. Transcutaneous partial pressure of carbon dioxide (Ptc,CO2) and oxygen (Ptc,O2) and arterial oxygen saturation (Sa,O2), were continuously monitored in 25 COPD patients with chronic hypercapnia, during natural breathing and DB. In eight of these patients, breathing pattern and minute ventilation (V'E) were also assessed by means of a respiratory inductance plethysmography. In five tracheostomized patients, breathing pattern and mechanics were assessed by means of a pneumotachograph/pressure transducer connected to an oesophageal balloon. Subjective rating of dyspnoea was performed by means of a visual analogue scale. In comparison to natural breathing deep DB was associated with a significant increase in Ptc,O2 and a significant decrease in Ptc,CO2, with a significant increase in tidal volume and a significant reduction in respiratory rate resulting in increased V'E. During DB, dyspnoea worsened significantly and inspiratory muscle effort increased, as demonstrated by an increase in oesophageal pressure swings, pressure-time product and work of breathing. We conclude that in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients with chronic hypercapnia, deep diaphragmatic breathing is associated with improvement of blood gases at the expense of a greater inspiratory muscle loading.

This article was published in Eur Respir J and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

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