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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 220-226

Ultrasonographic assessment of skeletal muscle mass and diaphragm function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A case–control study

1 Department of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Radiology, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Uma Devaraj
3rd Floor, PFT Lab, Oncology Block, Department of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_103_19

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Background: Although muscle dysfunction is a major contributor to morbidity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), assessment of skeletal muscle, and diaphragm function is not routinely performed in COPD patients.Objectives: (1) The aim is to assess muscle dysfunction in COPD by measuring the zone of apposition of diaphragm, diaphragm excursion, thickness of diaphragm, and rectus femoris cross-sectional area (RFCSA) with ultrasonography.(2) To correlate the above assessments with spirometric parameters; notably forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1).Methods: Twenty-four consecutive stable COPD patients and 18 controls were included after obtaining written informed consent. Demographic and clinical data, spirometric values, 6-min walk distance, and sonographic parameters mentioned above were compiled for the analysis. Results: All included participants were male with a mean age of 62.5 ± 8.4 years. The mean FEV1in cases was 1.12 ± 0.4 L versus 2.41 ± 0.5 L in controls. The diaphragm thickness (1.8 ± 0.5 mm vs. 2.2 ± 0.6 mm;P = 0.005) and RFCSA was significantly lower in COPD patients (4.8 ± 1.3 cm[2] vs. 6.12 ± 1.2 cm[2];P = 0.02). However, diaphragm excursion (5.35 ± 2.8 cm vs. 7 ± 2.6 cm) although lower in COPD patients, was not significantly different between the groups. Correlation between FEV1and ultrasound diaphragm measurements and RFCSA by Spearman's Rho correlation was poor (ρ= 0.2). Conclusion: Ultrasonographic assessment of the diaphragm and rectus femoris can be used as markers to assess skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD as diaphragmatic function and RFCSA were lower in COPD patients.

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