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      Effects of tiotropium on sympathetic activation during exercise in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients

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          Tiotropium partially relieves exertional dyspnea and reduces the risk of congestive heart failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. However, its effect on the sympathetic activation response to exercise is unknown.


          This study aimed to determine whether tiotropium use results in a sustained reduction in sympathetic activation during exercise.


          We conducted a 12-week, open-label (treatments: tiotropium 18 μg or oxitropium 0.2 mg × 3 mg), crossover study in 17 COPD patients. Treatment order was randomized across subjects. The subjects underwent a pulmonary function test and two modes of cardiopulmonary exercise (constant work rate and incremental exercise) testing using a cycle ergometer, with measurement of arterial catecholamines after each treatment period.


          Forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity were significantly larger in the tiotropium treatment group. In constant exercise testing, exercise endurance time was longer, with improvement in dyspnea during exercise and reduction in dynamic hyperinflation in the tiotropium treatment group. Similarly, in incremental exercise testing, exercise time, carbon dioxide production, and minute ventilation at peak exercise were significantly higher in the tiotropium treatment group. Plasma norepinephrine concentrations and dyspnea intensity were also lower during submaximal isotime exercise and throughout the incremental workload exercise in the tiotropium treatment group.


          Tiotropium suppressed the increase of sympathetic activation during exercise at the end of the 6-week treatment, as compared with the effect of oxipropium. This effect might be attributed to improvement in lung function and exercise capacity and reduction in exertional dyspnea, which were associated with decreases in respiratory frequency and heart rate and reduced progression of arterial acidosis.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Improved health outcomes in patients with COPD during 1 yr's treatment with tiotropium.

           Wino J. Wijnen,  ,  S Kesten (2002)
          Tiotropium, a novel once-daily inhaled anticholinergic, has been shown to improve lung function over a 24-h period. In order to extend these findings, health-outcomes were evaluated over 1 yr in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Spirometric results, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), salbutamol use and effects on dyspnoea, health-related quality of life and COPD exacerbations were assessed in two identical 1-yr randomized double-blind double-dummy studies of tiotropium 18 microg once daily (n=356) compared with ipratropium 40 microg q.i.d. (n=179). Screening forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were 1.25+/-0.43 L (41.9+/-12.7% of the predicted value) (tiotropium) and 1.18+/-0.37 L (39.4+/-10.7% pred) (ipratropium). Trough FEV1 at 1 yr improved by 0.12+/-0.01 L with tiotropium and declined by 0.03+/-0.02 L with ipratropium (p<0.001). Significant improvement in PEFR, salbutamol use, Transition Dyspnea Index focal score, and the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire total and impact scores were seen with tiotropium (p<0.01). Tiotropium reduced the number of exacerbations (by 24%, p<0.01), and increased time to first exacerbation (p<0.01) and time to first hospitalization for a COPD exacerbation (p<0.05) compared with ipratropium. Apart from an increased incidence of dry mouth in the tiotropium group, adverse events were similar between treatments. Tiotropium was effective in improving dyspnoea, exacerbations, health-related quality of life and lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and exceeds the benefits seen with ipratropium. The data support the use of tiotropium once-daily as first-line maintenance treatment in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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            Extrapulmonary effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on physical activity: a cross-sectional study.

            Physical activity is reduced in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD has a systemic component that includes significant extrapulmonary effects that may contribute to its severity in individual patients. To investigate the association of extrapulmonary effects of the disease and its comorbidities with reduced physical activity in patients with COPD. In a cross-sectional study, 170 outpatients with COPD (GOLD [Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease] stages I-IV; BODE [body mass index, airway obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity] score 0-10) underwent a series of tests. Physical activity was assessed over 5 to 6 consecutive days by using a multisensor accelerometer armband that records steps per day and the physical activity level (total daily energy expenditure divided by whole-night sleeping energy expenditure). Cardiovascular status was assessed by echocardiography, vascular Doppler sonography, and levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide. Mental status, metabolic/muscular status, systemic inflammation, and anemia were assessed by Beck Depression Inventory, bioelectrical impedance analysis, handgrip strength, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein/fibrinogen, and hemoglobin, respectively. In a multivariate linear regression analysis using either steps per day or physical activity level as a dependent variable, the extrapulmonary parameters that were associated with reduced physical activity in patients with COPD independently of GOLD stages or BODE score were N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels, echocardiographically measured left ventricular diastolic function, and systemic inflammation. Higher values of systemic inflammation and left cardiac dysfunction are associated with reduced physical activity in patients with COPD.
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              Marked sympathetic activation in patients with chronic respiratory failure.

              The autonomic nervous system may be disturbed in chronic respiratory failure. We tested the hypothesis that there is increased sympathetic activity in patients with chronic hypoxemia. Furthermore, we examined the effect of short-term oxygen on muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) in these patients. We performed microneurography of the peroneal nerve in 11 patients with hypoxemia due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, n = 6) or lung fibrosis (n = 5) and in 11 healthy subjects matched for age and sex. MSNA was measured during normal breathing in all subjects. In eight patients and in seven control subjects, MSNA was also measured during nasal oxygen (4 L/min). MSNA was higher in the patients with chronic respiratory failure compared with the healthy subjects during normal breathing (61 +/- 5 versus 34 +/- 2 bursts/min, mean +/- SEM; p = 0.0002, paired t test). During oxygen administration, MSNA decreased from 63 +/- 6 to 56 +/- 6 bursts/min in the patients (p = 0.0004, ANOVA); there was no change in sympathetic activity in the control subjects. For the first time, there is direct evidence of marked sympathetic activation in patients with chronic respiratory failure. This is partly explained by arterial chemoreflex activation and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease.

                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
                02 May 2012
                : 7
                : 109-118
                Department of Respiratory Medicine, Toneyama National Hospital, Osaka, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ryoji Maekura, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Toneyama National Hospital, 5-1-1 Toneyama Toyonaka-city, Osaka 560-8552, Japan, Tel +81 6 6853 2001, Fax +81 6 6853 1221, Email rmaekura@
                © 2012 Yoshimura et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research


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