Factors contributing to dyspnoea during bronchoconstriction and exercise in asthmatic subjects.
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The purpose of the present study was to identify: 1) whether dyspnoea during bronchoconstriction and exercise is related, in asthmatic subjects; and 2) to what extent baseline pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength contribute to dyspnoea under both conditions. One hundred and seventy five consecutive subjects, referred with suspected asthma, rated the intensity of dyspnoea (Borg scale 0-10): 1) during the administration of doubling concentrations of methacholine to 32 mg.ml-1 methacholine, or until the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was reduced by 20%; and 2) during incremental cycle ergometry (100 kpm.min-1 each minute) to maximal capacity. 138/175 subjects achieved a 20% reduction in their baseline FEV1; 18 of the 138 were excluded, 2 children and 16 with complicating pulmonary disorders (diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) and/or total lung capacity (TLC) < 70% predicted). The remaining 120 out of 175 constituted the study population. Dyspnoea following a 20% reduction in the baseline FEV1 (Dys20%) was linearly interpolated, using the rating of dyspnoea and the FEV1 at the two final concentrations of methacholine. In the 120 asthmatic subjects, the mean intensity of dyspnoea was "moderate" (2.9, SD 1.91; Borg 0-10) and the intensity across subjects was not significantly related to baseline FEV1, vital capacity (VC), FEV1/VC, DLCO, TLC and maximal static inspiratory pressure (MIP), alone or in combination.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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