The influence of lung volume reduction surgery on exercise in patients with COPD
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Although the influence of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) on incremental- and constant-power exercise is important in the evaluation of this procedure for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is rarely reported even in large randomised controlled trials. This report describes 39 patients with severe COPD ((mean +/- SE) forced expiratory volume in one second 32 +/- 2% pred, functional residual capacity 195 +/- 6% pred) who participated in a randomised controlled trial of LVRS and who completed incremental exercise tests at 6 months as well as endurance tests (constant power of 25 +/- 1 W) at 3, 9 and 12 months. Peak oxygen uptake (V'O2,pk) was similar between the treatment (n = 19) and control groups (n = 20) at baseline. After LVRS, the treatment group had a significantly greater V'O2,pk (mean difference (95% CI) 1.28 (0.07-2.50) mL x kg x min(-1)) and power (13 (6-20) W). The treatment group achieved a significantly greater minute ventilation (7.1 (2.9-11.3) L x min(-1)) with a greater tidal volume (0.16 (0.04-0.28) L). Baseline endurance was similar between groups. After surgery, there were significant between-group differences in endurance time, which were maintained at 12 months (7.3 (3.9-10.8) min). Lung volume reduction surgery is associated with an increase in exercise capacity and endurance, as compared with conventional medical treatment.