Reproducibility and responsiveness of a noninvasive EMG technique of the respiratory muscles in COPD patients and in healthy subjects

ML Duiverman, LA van Eykern, PW Vennik, GH Koeter, EJW Maarsingh, PJ Wijkstra*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

83 Citaten (Scopus)


In the present study, we assessed the reproducibility and responsiveness of transcutaneous electromyography (EMG) of the respiratory muscles in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD) and healthy subjects during breathing against an inspiratory load. In seven healthy subjects and seven COPD patients, EMG signals of the frontal and dorsal diaphragm, intercostal muscles, abdominal muscles, and scalene muscles were derived on 2 different days, both during breathing at rest and during breathing through an inspiratory threshold device of 7, 14, and 21 cmH(2)O. For analysis, we used the logarithm of the ratio of the inspiratory activity during the subsequent loads and the activity at baseline [ log EMG activity ratio (EMGAR)]. Reproducibility of the EMG was assessed by comparing the log EMGAR values measured at test days 1 and 2 in both groups. Responsiveness ( sensitivity to change) of the EMG was assessed by comparing the log EMGAR values of the COPD patients to those of the healthy subjects at each load. During days 1 and 2, log EMGAR values of the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles correlated significantly. For the scalene muscles, significant correlations were found for the COPD patients. Although inspiratory muscle activity increased significantly during the subsequent loads in all participants, the COPD patients displayed a significantly greater increase in intercostal and left scalene muscle activity compared with the healthy subjects. In conclusion, the present study showed that the EMG technique is a reproducible and sensitive technique to assess breathing patterns in COPD patients and healthy subjects.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1723-1729
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftJournal of Applied Physiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - 1-mei-2004

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