The difference in efficacy of long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) and long-acting β 2-agonists (LABAs) for dynamic lung hyperinflation (DLH) in COPD is unclear. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the difference in efficacy of LAMA and LABA alone and the combination thereof for DLH.
Thirty stable patients were enrolled and randomly divided into two groups following baseline measurements. One group was treated with 5 μg tiotropium (Respimat inhaler) for 4 weeks following a 4-week treatment with 150 μg indacaterol, while the other group was treated with indacaterol for 4 weeks following a 4-week treatment with tiotropium. For both groups, these treatments were followed by a combination of the two drugs for 4 weeks. Pulmonary function tests, including DLH evaluated by metronome-paced incremental hyperventilation and exercise tolerance evaluated by the shuttle-walk test, were performed at the end of each treatment period.
In total, 23 patients completed this study. Both tiotropium and indacaterol alone significantly increased forced expiratory volume in 1 second, exercise tolerance, and improved health status. Tiotropium significantly improved DLH, but indacaterol did not. The combination therapy resulted in further improvements in lung function and exercise tolerance, but not in DLH.
The efficacy of tiotropium in inhibiting DLH following metronome-paced incremental hyperventilation may be superior to that of 150 μg indacaterol, although the effects on airflow obstruction were the same, and the combination therapy showed further improvement in airflow obstruction, but not in DLH.