Health status can predict diaphragmatic muscle thickness in COPD: pilot study

Carolina da Rosa Wendpap, Tamires Daros dos Santos, Everton Lüdke, Adriane Schmidt Pasqualoto, Aron Ferreira da Silveira, Isabella Martins de Albuquerque


Introduction: Among the systemic implications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) there are changes in the diaphragm and impact on health status. However, there are few studies on the possible relationship between these variables, and whether health status could predict diaphragmatic muscle thickness (DMT). Objective: To investigate whether there is a relationship between DMT and the prognostic mortality index Body Mass-Index, Airway Obstruction, Dyspnea and Exercise Capacity (BODE), dyspnea and health status, and to investigate whether health status can predict DMT in patients with COPD entering a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Methods: This is a pilot study with a cross-sectional design. Diaphragmatic muscle thickness was evaluated using ultrasound; health status through the COPD Assessment Test (CAT); the sensation of dyspnea by the modified Medical Research Council scale; and mortality, using the BODE index. Results: The sample consisted of 13 patients (68.69 ± 9.3 years) classified as having moderate to severe COPD. There was a strong and inverse correlation between diaphragmatic muscle thickness and health status (r = -0.735; p = 0.004). Simple regression analysis demonstrated that health status influenced diaphragmatic muscle thickness (β = -0.002; IC 95% - 0.004 to -0.001; p = 0.004), explaining 49% of the variance. However, no correlations were observed between diaphragmatic muscle thickness with dyspnea (r = 0.005; p = 0.985) or with the BODE mortality index (r = -0.219; p = 0.472). Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrated a strong inverse correlation between health status and DMT. In addition, health status was able to predict DMT in patients with COPD.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diaphragm. Dyspnea. Health evaluation. Ultrasonography.



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