PURPOSE: Peripheral muscle weakness is a major problem in COPD, contributing to exercise intolerance and decreased health status. The loss of muscle mass has been described in those patients, but, little data are reported regarding the morphology of limb muscles.
METHODS: 50 COPD patients were chosen from the outpatient clinic of chest diseases, Cairo University Hospitals. Muscle biopsies were taken from the left Vastus lateralis under local anesthesia by Abram's needle and subjected to histopathological examination after staining with Hematoxlin and Eosin. The biopsies were compared to specimens taken from 10 healthy control subjects of the same sex and age group.
RESULTS: Strong correlation was found between the severity of COPD and the degree of muscle atrophy graded from zero (normal) to 4 (marked atrophy) according to number of foci of atrophy. The one patient in stage I & 69 % of patients in stage II COPD were found to have normal biopsy. Stage III; showed both mild atrophy in (45.5%) & moderate atrophy in (41%) of patients. Stage IV showed moderate atrophy in (64.3%). Marked degree of atrophy were belonged to stage III; 9% and IV; 7.2% of patients. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between degree of muscle atrophy and (age, smoking index & number of exacerbations / year).
CONCLUSIONS: COPD patients showed variable degrees of peripheral skeletal muscle atrophy correlated to disease severity. Progression of COPD is associated with progression of the muscle affection.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: COPD patients showed variable degrees of peripheral skeletal muscle atrophy correlated to disease severity. Progression of COPD is associated with progression of the muscle affection.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Mohamed Elnady, Maysa Sharaf El-Din, Uosef Amin, Ali El-Hindawy
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