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      Hand grip endurance test relates to clinical state and prognosis in COPD patients better than 6-minute walk test distance

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          Patients with COPD present peripheral muscle dysfunction and atrophy, expressed as muscle strength and endurance reduction. The goal of this study was direct dynamometric assessment of hand grip endurance and strength in relation to the stage of disease, multidimensional predictors of mortality, and 6-minute walk test (6MWT). To the best of our knowledge, there has been no previous study determining these parameters.

          Patients and methods

          In this observational study, 58 consecutive outpatients with stable COPD and 25 volunteers without respiratory problems were compared. All COPD subjects underwent a comprehensive examination to determine COPD severity, prognostic scales, and 6MWT. Body composition, basic spirometric parameters, and hand grip strength and endurance were determined in all study participants.


          Patients in the COPD group had a 15% decrease in maximum strength ( P=0.012) and a 28% decrease in area under the force/time curve (AUC) of the endurance test ( P<0.001) compared to the control group. Dynamometric parameters were significantly negatively associated with the stage of disease and values of multivariable prediction indexes, and positively associated with the results of 6MWT. In most cases, closer associations were found with AUC than with 6MWT and in the gender-specific groups.


          Both hand grip strength and endurance are impaired in COPD patients in comparison with the control group. In particular, AUC could be considered as an attractive option not only to assess exercise capacity but also as a predictive marker with a better prognostic value than 6MWT in COPD patients. This is the first study to observe the dependence of hand grip endurance on combined COPD assessment.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years.

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            The 6-min walk distance: change over time and value as a predictor of survival in severe COPD.

            The 6-min walk distance (6MWD) is used to evaluate the functional capacity of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The change in 6MWD over time and its correlation with changes in spirometry and survival are unclear. Patients (n=198) with severe COPD and 41 age-matched controls were followed for 2 yrs, and anthropometrics, spirometry, 6MWD and comorbidities were measured. The 6MWD decreased in the COPD group from 238 +/- 107 m to 218 +/- 112 m (-26 +/- 37 m x yr(-1)), and increased in the control group from 532 +/- 82 m to 549 +/- 86 m (12 +/- 25 m x yr(-1)). In both groups, there was a poor correlation with changes in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). Nonsurvivors in the COPD group (42%) had a more pronounced change in the 6MWD (-40 versus -22 m x yr(-1)) but a similar change in FEV1 (118 versus 102 mL x yr(-1)). The 6MWD independently predicted survival, after accounting for age, body mass index, FEV1 and comorbidities. In severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the 6-min walk distance predicts mortality better than other traditional markers of disease severity. Its measurement is useful in the comprehensive evaluation of patients with severe disease.
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              Loss of quadriceps muscle oxidative phenotype and decreased endurance in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD.

              Being well-established in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), skeletal muscle dysfunction and its underlying pathology have been scarcely investigated in patients with mild-to-moderate airflow obstruction. We hypothesized that a loss of oxidative phenotype (oxphen) associated with decreased endurance is present in the skeletal muscle of patients with mild-to-moderate COPD. In quadriceps muscle biopsies from 29 patients with COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1] 58 ± 16%pred, body mass index [BMI] 26 ± 4 kg/m(2)) and 15 controls (BMI 25 ± 3 kg/m(2)) we assessed fiber type distribution, fiber cross-sectional areas (CSA), oxidative and glycolytic gene expression, OXPHOS protein levels, metabolic enzyme activity, and levels of oxidative stress markers. Quadriceps function was assessed by isokinetic dynamometry, body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, exercise capacity by an incremental load test, and physical activity level by accelerometry. Compared with controls, patients had comparable fat-free mass index, quadriceps strength, and fiber CSA, but quadriceps endurance was decreased by 29% (P = 0.002). Patients with COPD had a clear loss of muscle oxphen: a fiber type I-to-II shift, decreased levels of OXPHOS complexes IV and V subunits (47% and 31%, respectively; P < 0.05), a decreased ratio of 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase/phosphofructokinase (PFK) enzyme activities (38%, P < 0.05), and decreased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (40%; P < 0.001) vs. increased PFK (67%; P < 0.001) gene expression levels. Within the patient group, markers of oxphen were significantly positively correlated with quadriceps endurance and inversely with the increase in plasma lactate relative to work rate during the incremental test. Levels of protein carbonylation, tyrosine nitration, and malondialdehyde protein adducts were comparable between patients and controls. However, among patients, oxidative stress levels were significantly inversely correlated with markers of oxphen and quadriceps endurance. Reduced muscle endurance associated with underlying loss of muscle oxphen is already present in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD without muscle wasting.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                01 December 2017
                : 12
                : 3429-3435
                [1 ]Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
                [2 ]Department of Research and Development, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
                [3 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Miloslav Hronek, Faculty of Pharmacy, Educational and Research Center of Charles University, Zborovska 2089, Hradec Kralove 500 03, Czech Republic, Tel +420 49 506 7254, Fax +420 49 551 8002, Email hronek@
                © 2017 Kovarik et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                bode index, dynamometry, muscle endurance, muscle strength


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