Lung hyperinflation and exercise intolerance are hallmarks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, their relationship remains uncertain. A combined analysis of two placebo-controlled, randomized studies examined the effects of the long-acting muscarinic antagonist umeclidinium (UMEC) and long-acting β 2-agonist vilanterol (VI) separately and in combination on static hyperinflation, exercise endurance time (EET), and their relationship in patients with COPD.
Patients with moderate-to-severe stable COPD and resting functional residual capacity >120% predicted were randomized to UMEC/VI 62.5/25 μg, UMEC 62.5 μg, VI 25 μg, or placebo for 12 weeks. Inspiratory capacity (IC), residual volume (RV), total lung capacity (TLC), and EET in an endurance shuttle-walk test were measured. In this post hoc analysis, IC/TLC, RV/TLC, and IC were used as hyperinflation markers.
After 12 weeks, UMEC/VI and UMEC and VI showed significant improvements in hyperinflation versus placebo when measured by absolute change from baseline in IC/TLC (trough and 3 hours postdose [ P≤0.011]). UMEC/VI showed significant improvements versus UMEC and VI in absolute changes in IC/TLC (trough and 3 hours postdose [ P≤0.001]). Statistical significance for comparisons with placebo and between treatments for absolute changes in IC and percentage changes in RV/TLC followed similar patterns to those for absolute changes in IC/TLC. UMEC/VI showed significant improvements in EET versus placebo at day 2 and week 12, measured as change from baseline in seconds ( P≤0.002) and as a percentage from baseline ( P≤0.005). There was a lack of evidence to suggest a correlation between improvements in static hyperinflation and EET at any time point.