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Clinical Utility of Measuring Inspiratory Neural Drive During Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET)

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Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) has traditionally included ventilatory and metabolic measurements alongside electrocardiographic characterization; however, research increasingly acknowledges the utility of also measuring inspiratory neural drive (IND) through its surrogate measure of diaphragmatic electromyography (EMGdi). While true IND also encompasses the activation of non-diaphragmatic respiratory muscles, the current review focuses on diaphragmatic measurements, providing information about additional inspiratory muscle groups for context where appropriate. Evaluation of IND provides mechanistic insight into the origins of dyspnea and exercise limitation across pathologies; yields valuable information reflecting the integration of diverse mechanical, chemical, locomotor, and metabolic afferent signals; and can help assess the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Further, IND measurement during the physiologic stress of exercise is uniquely poised to reveal the underpinnings of physiologic limitations masked during resting and unloaded breathing, with important information provided not only at peak exercise, but throughout exercise protocols. As our understanding of IND presentation across varying conditions continues to grow and methods for its measurement become more accessible, the translation of these principles into clinical settings is a logical next step in facilitating appropriate and nuanced management tailored to each individual's unique physiology. This review provides an overview of the current state of understanding of IND measurement during CPET: its origins, known patterns of behavior and links with dyspnea in health and major respiratory diseases, and the possibility of expanding this approach to applications beyond exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number483
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Pages (from-to)483
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, CPET cardiopulmonary exercise testing, diaphragm, diaphragmatic electromyogram EMGdi, inspiratory neural drive, respiratory disease (RD), respiratory muscles

ID: 61116354