Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is a severe condition in which the lung arteries are narrowed or obstructed, leading to increased blood pressure in the lung. It is oftentimes a comorbidity of other conditions, such as blood clots, HIV, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, several autoimmune diseases or liver disease, however it can also be of unknown cause (idiopathic PHT). Evidence has shown that PHT patients have inspiratory and expiratory muscle weakness, and limited exercise tolerance due to increased dyspnea and fatigue. These issues can complicate their health conditions and lead to marked decrease in the quality of life patients experience.
To help improve patient outlook, it is important to explore options for improving PHT as well as its causes. Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) is one area currently being explored. In the study discussed in this blog, IMT was tested for improvement of functional exercise capacity, respiratory muscle strength, activities of daily living (ADL), and fatigue perception in patients with PHT. Let’s discuss the study in more detail below.
- Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is a severe condition in which the lung arteries are narrowed or obstructed, leading to increased blood pressure in the lung.
- PHT patients have respiratory muscle weakness, limited exercise tolerance, and increased dyspnea and fatigue.
- 6 weeks of respiratory muscle training (RMT) increased respiratory muscle strength, and improved fatigue and exercise capacity in PHT patients.
- RMT is recommended as a safe and effective treatment without complications in PHT patients.
effectively improves respiratory muscle strength and exercise capacity in PHT patients, reducing discomfort in daily activities and fatigue.
The study examined the following throughout its duration:
- Respiratory muscle strength using mouth pressure device
- Functional capacity using 6-minute walking test (6MWT)
- ADL using Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)
- Fatigue perception using Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS)
The above were were evaluated in PHT patients before and after 6 weeks of IMT, and compared to a sham-treated control group.
Inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength and exercise capacity were significantly increased as a result of respiratory muscle training (RMT). Fatigue was significantly reduced and ADL significantly improved in PHT patients after the training.
IMT leads to significant improvements in respiratory muscle strength and exercise capacity in PHT patients, in other words, which in turn reduces discomfort in daily activities and fatigue. RMT is therefore recommended as a safe and efficient treatment without complications in PHT patients.