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Preoperative pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

, : Preoperative pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Archives of Medical Science 10(1): 68-75

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of preoperative pulmonary rehabilitation (PPR) on preoperative clinical status changes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and net effects of PPR and cancer resection on residual pulmonary function and functional capacity. This prospective single group study included 83 COPD patients (62 ±8 years, 85% males, FEV1 = 1844 ±618 ml, Tiffeneau index = 54 ±9%) with NSCLC, on 2-4-week PPR, before resection. Pulmonary function, and functional and symptom status were evaluated by spirometry, 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) and Borg scale, on admission, after PPR and after surgery. Following PPR significant improvement was registered in the majority of spirometry parameters (FEV1 by 374 ml, p < 0.001; VLC by 407 ml, p < 0.001; FEF50 by 3%, p = 0.003), 6MWD (for 56 m, p < 0.001) and dyspnoeal symptoms (by 1.0 Borg unit, p < 0.001). A positive correlation was identified between preoperative increments of FEV1 and 6MWD (r s = 0.503, p = 0.001). Negative correlations were found between basal FEV1 and its percentage increment (r s = -0.479, p = 0.001) and between basal 6MWD and its percentage change (r s = -0.603, p < 0.001) during PPR. Compared to basal values, after resection a significant reduction of most spirometry parameters and 6MWD were recorded, while Tiffeneau index, FEF25 and dyspnoea severity remained stable (p = NS). Preoperative pulmonary rehabilitation significantly enhances clinical status of COPD patients before NSCLC resection. Preoperative increase of exercise tolerance was the result of pulmonary function improvement during PPR. The beneficial effects of PPR were most emphasized in patients with initially the worst pulmonary function and the weakest functional capacity.


PMID: 24701217

DOI: 10.5114/aoms.2013.32806

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