Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Studies are showing that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) increases diaphragmatic excursion by decreasing hyperinflation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, there is a lack of knowledge about its effects on the diaphragm thickness (dt) and contractility. This study aims to evaluate the dt and contractility before and after PR in patients with COPD. Materials and methods: All subjects participated in an out-patient PR of 6 weeks and 3 sessions per week prospectively. Dyspnea severity, the disease-specific quality of life (St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire-SGRQ), pulmonary function tests (PFT), exercise capacity, the dt at the end of the expiration and at maximal inspiration (B-mode ultrasound) were evaluated at baseline and after PR. Results: A total of 34 patients with a mean age and FEV1 61.05 ± 8.22 years and 57.9 ± 20.4% predicted respectively showed improvements in exercise capacity and some items of PFT and SGRQ. Diaphragmatic thickness at the end of the expiration also significantly improved regardless of the disease severity and was positively correlated with functional performance. The 6-weeks of PR didn't result in a significant difference in diaphragm contractility. Conclusion: The 6-weeks of PR resulted in a significant increase in dt without a significant difference in diaphragm contractility.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary rehabilitation, diaphragm thickness, diaphragm contractility, ultrasonography

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