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2.  Expiratory muscle endurance in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Thorax  2002;57(2):132-136.
Background: A reduction in expiratory muscle (ExM) endurance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have clinically relevant implications. This study was carried out to evaluate ExM endurance in patients with COPD.
Methods: Twenty three patients with COPD (FEV1 35 (14)% predicted) and 14 matched controls were studied. ExM endurance was assessed using a method based on the use of an expiratory threshold valve which includes two steps. In step 1 the load is progressively increased (50 g every 2 minutes) until task failure is reached, and the pressure generated against the highest tolerated load is defined as the maximal expiratory sustainable pressure (Pthmax). In step 2 subjects breathe against a submaximal constant load (80% of Pthmax) and the time elapsed until task failure is termed the expiratory endurance time (Tth80). In addition, the strength of peripheral muscles (handgrip, HGS) and respiratory muscles (maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, PImax and PEmax, respectively) was evaluated.
Results: Patients with COPD had lower ExM strength and endurance than controls: PEmax 64 (19)% predicted v 84 (14)% predicted (mean difference 20%; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 14 to 39); Pthmax 52 (27) v 151 (46) cm H2O (mean difference 99, 95% CI 74 to 123); and Tth80 9.4 (6.3) v 14.2 (7.4) min (mean difference 4.8, 95% CI 1.0 to 10.4; p<0.01 for all). Interestingly, ExM endurance directly correlated with both the severity of airways obstruction (Pthmax with FEV1, r=0.794, p<0.01) and the reduction in strength observed in different muscle groups (Pthmax with HG, PImax or PEmax, r=0.550, p<0.05; r=0.583, p<0.001; and r=0.584, p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: ExM endurance is decreased in patients with COPD. This impairment is proportional to the severity of the disease and is associated with lower strength in different muscle groups. This suggests that systemic effects are implicated in the impairment observed in ExM function.
doi:10.1136/thorax.57.2.132
PMCID: PMC1746253  PMID: 11828042
3.  Simplified exercise test for the initial differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in HIV antibody positive patients. 
Thorax  1994;49(2):112-114.
BACKGROUND--This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of a simplified exercise test in the differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). METHODS--Forty five subjects with antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and pneumonia were included and divided into two groups: those with PCP and those with "other pneumonias" (non-PCP). The test involved pedalling for two minutes on a stretcher bed and was considered positive if SaO2 decreased by at least 3%. RESULTS--During the exercise the mean(SE) SaO2 fell in patients with PCP from 88(4)% to 84(3)%, p < 0.01, whilst it improved slightly in subjects with non-PCP from 91(1)% to 93(3)%, p < 0.05. Sensitivity was 77% and specificity 91%. CONCLUSIONS--This simple test seems potentially useful for the initial investigation of HIV antibody positive patients with pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC474319  PMID: 8128398

Results 1-3 (3)