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Three-minute constant rate step test for detecting exertional dyspnea relief after bronchodilation in COPD

Authors Borel B, Wilkinson-Maitland CA, Hamilton A, Bourbeau J, Perrault H, Jensen D, Maltais F

Received 19 May 2016

Accepted for publication 10 August 2016

Published 29 November 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 2991—3000


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Benoit Borel,1,2 Courtney A Wilkinson-Maitland,3 Alan Hamilton,4 Jean Bourbeau,5 Hélène Perrault,6 Dennis Jensen,3,5,7 François Maltais2

1Laboratoire HAVAE, Université de Limoges, Limoges, France; 2Centre de Recherche, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec, Université Laval, Québec, 3Clinical Exercise and Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montréal, QC, 4Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Limited, Burlington, ON, 5Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, QC, 6Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, 7Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the responsiveness of the 3-minute constant rate step test (3-MST) to detect the relief of exertional dyspnea (respiratory discomfort) after acute bronchodilation in COPD patients.
Patients and methods:
A total of 40 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD (mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second: 45.7 (±14.7), % predicted) performed four 3-MSTs at randomly assigned stepping rates of 14, 16, 20 and 24 steps/min after inhalation of nebulized ipratropium bromide (500 µg)/salbutamol (2.5 mg) and saline placebo, which were randomized to order. Patients rated their intensity of perceived dyspnea at the end of each 3-MST using Borg 0–10 category ratio scale.
Results: A total of 37 (92.5%), 36 (90%), 34 (85%) and 27 (67.5%) patients completed all 3 minutes of exercise at 14, 16, 20 and 24 steps/min under both treatment conditions, respectively. Compared with placebo, ipratropium bromide/salbutamol significantly decreased dyspnea at the end of the third minute of exercise at 14 steps/min (by 0.6±1.0 Borg 0–10 scale units, P<0.01) and 16 steps/min (by 0.7±1.3 Borg 0–10 scale units, P<0.01); however, no statically significant differences were observed between treatments at 20 and 24 steps/min (both P>0.05).
Conclusion: The 3-MST, when performed at 14 and 16 steps/min, was responsive to detect the relief of exertional dyspnea after acute bronchodilation in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exercise testing, dyspnea, intervention

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