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Oral prednisolone for 4 days does not increase exercise tolerance in men with COPD

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One of the primary objectives in management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is preventing decrease in lung function and reducing the annual number of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD). An oral course of systemic corticosteroids is a commonly used treatment in AECOPD. We hypothesize that this treatment also increases exercise performance and decreases muscle fatigue. In a randomized double-blinded, parallel, placebo-controlled trial, we investigated 14 men (8 on prednisolone 37.5 mg vs. 6 on placebo) with severe and very severe COPD. For 5 consecutive days, the patients performed a submaximal endurance test measuring time to exhaustion (TTE, primary endpoint), spirometry, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressure and maximal isometric contraction of the quadriceps femoris muscle (maximum voluntary contraction (MVC)). At visits 2, 3 and 4, a fatigue protocol was carried out after 40 minutes of cycling at 40% of maximal effort. No differences between groups were found for TTE, lung function or maximal inspiratory or expiratory pressure, however, patients on prednisolone showed significant increased MVC: median 5.15 [3.35; 9.15] against placebo: -2 [-5.57; 3.95] ( p = 0.03). This finding indicates an impact of corticosteroids on muscle groups being exposed to submaximal endurance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Volume15
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)220-222
ISSN1479-9723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51508393