Few effective therapies exist for patients with COPD.
Rehabilitative therapy aimed at curing dysfunction of the peripheral
muscles may be an appropriate addition to this short list. This review
does the following: (1) presents evidence that skeletal muscle
dysfunction is present in COPD patients; (2) considers the mechanisms
of this dysfunction; (3) describes the role of exercise training in
correcting this disorder; and (4) speculates that anabolic hormone
supplementation may find a place in COPD therapy. Further research will
be necessary to refine these concepts.