PURPOSE:Nutritional depletion is a typical feature of COPD patients and is often associated to weight loss and decrease of respiratory and peripheral muscle mass; these patients also show an increased degradation of essential aminoacids, used as a substrate for energy production. Aim of our study is to evaluate the clinical efficacy, in terms of improvement of muscle strenght (maximal pulmonary pressures measure (MIP and MEP), exercise tolerance (6 minutes walking test), BODE Index measure and dyspnoea self reporting (MRC scale), of a daily intake of essential amino acids, as nutritional supplement.
METHODS:We enrolled 40 consecutive outpatients (20 in the study group, 20 in the control group), with COPD stage III and IV (according to Gold Guidelines), at least 40-year old and well matched for ongoing pharmacologic treatment. Patients in the study group have been treated for three months with 8 gr of essential aminoacids, plus usual pharmacologic treatment. At basal visit, after one month and three months patients underwent pneumologic evaluation, pulmonary function tests, MIP and MEP evaluation, measurement of BODE index, breathless degree and renal function.
RESULTS:After three months patients in the study group showed a statistically significant increase of MIP, MEP, covered distance during walking test and a decrease of breathless degree and BODE index. No alterations of renal function were observed.
CONCLUSION:Essential aminoacids supplementation may be a valid adjuvant therapy for treating patients with advanced COPD, especially those presenting loss of muscle mass or respiratory muscle weakness.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:Weight loss is correlated with increase of mortality and morbidity, in terms of exacerbation risk, rehospitalizations and mechanical ventilation. It is therefore important to regain the lost body weight by means of a therapeutic nutritional support.
DISCLOSURE:Elvia Battaglia, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information