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1.  Characteristics and determinants of endurance cycle ergometry and six-minute walk distance in patients with COPD 
Exercise tolerance can be assessed by the cycle endurance test (CET) and six-minute walk test (6MWT) in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We sought to investigate the characteristics of functional exercise performance and determinants of the CET and 6MWT in a large clinical cohort of COPD patients.
A dataset of 2053 COPD patients (43% female, age: 66.9 ± 9.5 years, FEV1% predicted: 48.2 ± 23.2) was analyzed retrospectively. Patients underwent, amongst others, respiratory function evaluation; medical tests and questionnaires, one maximal incremental cycle test where peak work rate was determined and two functional exercise tests: a CET at 75% of peak work rate and 6MWT. A stepwise multiple linear regression was used to assess determinants.
On average, patients had impaired exercise tolerance (peak work rate: 56 ± 27% predicted, 6MWT: 69 ± 17% predicted). A total of 2002 patients had CET time of duration (CET-Tend) less than 20 min while only 51 (2.5%) of the patients achieved 20 min of CET-Tend . In former patients, the percent of predicted peak work rate achieved differed significantly between men (48 ± 21% predicted) and women (67 ± 31% predicted). In contrast, CET-Tend was longer in men (286 ± 174 s vs 250 ± 153 s, p < 0.001). Also, six minute walking distance (6MWD) was higher in men compared to women, both in absolute terms as in percent of predicted (443 m, 67%predicted vs 431 m, 72%predicted, p < 0.05). Gender was associated with the CET-Tend but BMI, FEV1 and FRC were related to the 6MWD highlighting the different determinants of exercise performance between CET and 6MWT.
CET-Tend is a valuable outcome of CET as it is related to multiple clinical aspects of disease severity in COPD. Gender difference should temper the interpretation of CET.
PMCID: PMC4229855  PMID: 24885117
Exercise; 6MWT; CET; CPET; COPD
2.  Quantitative CT: Associations between Emphysema, Airway Wall Thickness and Body Composition in COPD 
Pulmonary Medicine  2011;2011:419328.
The objective of the present study was to determine the association between CT phenotypes—emphysema by low attenuation area and bronchitis by airway wall thickness—and body composition parameters in a large cohort of subjects with and without COPD. In 452 COPD subjects and 459 subjects without COPD, CT scans were performed to determine emphysema (%LAA), airway wall thickness (AWT-Pi10), and lung mass. Muscle wasting based on FFMI was assessed by bioelectrical impedance. In both the men and women with COPD, FFMI was negatively associated with %LAA. FMI was positively associated with AWT-Pi10 in both subjects with and without COPD. Among the subjects with muscle wasting, the percentage emphysema was high, but the predictive value was moderate. In conclusion, the present study strengthens the hypothesis that the subgroup of COPD cases with muscle wasting have emphysema. Airway wall thickness is positively associated with fat mass index in both subjects with and without COPD.
PMCID: PMC3100107  PMID: 21647214
3.  Task-related oxygen uptake and symptoms during activities of daily life in CHF patients and healthy subjects 
European Journal of Applied Physiology  2011;111(8):1679-1686.
Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) have a significantly lower peak aerobic capacity compared to healthy subjects, and, may therefore experience more inconvenience during the performance of domestic activities of daily life (ADLs). To date, the extent to which task-related oxygen uptake, heart rate, ventilation and symptoms during the performance of ADLs in CHF patients is different than in healthy subjects remains uncertain. General demographics, pulmonary function, body composition and peak aerobic capacity were assessed in 23 CHF outpatients and 20 healthy peers. In addition, the metabolic requirement of five simple self-paced domestic ADLs was assessed using a mobile oxycon. Task-related oxygen uptake (ml/min) was similar or lower in CHF patients compared to healthy subjects. In contrast, patients with CHF performing ADLs consumed oxygen at a higher proportion of their peak aerobic capacity than healthy subjects (p < 0.05). For example, getting dressed resulted in a mean task-related oxygen uptake of 49% of peak aerobic capacity, while sweeping the floor resulted in a mean task-related oxygen uptake of 52% of peak aerobic capacity, accompanied by significantly higher Borg symptom scores for dyspnea and fatigue (p < 0.05). Patients with CHF experience use a higher proportion of their peak aerobic capacity, peak ventilation and peak heart rate during the performance of simple self-paced domestic ADL than their healthy peers. These findings represent a necessary step in improving our understanding of improving what troubles patients the most—not being able to do the things that they could when they were healthy.
PMCID: PMC3156911  PMID: 21210281
Self-paced; ADL; Domestic; Chronic heart failure
4.  Extravascular fibrin, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitors, and airway hyperresponsiveness 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(1):104-111.
Mechanisms underlying airway hyperresponsiveness are not yet fully elucidated. One of the manifestations of airway inflammation is leakage of diverse plasma proteins into the airway lumen. They include fibrinogen and thrombin. Thrombin cleaves fibrinogen to form fibrin, a major component of thrombi. Fibrin inactivates surfactant. Surfactant on the airway surface maintains airway patency by lowering surface tension. In this study, immunohistochemically detected fibrin was seen along the luminal surface of distal airways in a patient who died of status asthmaticus and in mice with induced allergic airway inflammation. In addition, we observed altered airway fibrinolytic system protein balance consistent with promotion of fibrin deposition in mice with allergic airway inflammation. The airways of mice were exposed to aerosolized fibrinogen, thrombin, or to fibrinogen followed by thrombin. Only fibrinogen followed by thrombin resulted in airway hyperresponsiveness compared with controls. An aerosolized fibrinolytic agent, tissue-type plasminogen activator, significantly diminished airway hyperresponsiveness in mice with allergic airway inflammation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that leakage of fibrinogen and thrombin and their accumulation on the airway surface can contribute to the pathogenesis of airway hyperresponsiveness.
PMCID: PMC437962  PMID: 15232617

Results 1-4 (4)