D’Agostini (2012) Immersion effects in the ventilatory parameters of individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

This study investigates how water immersion influences ventilatory parameters in non-ambulatory patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), comparing them to a control group of healthy individuals.

Study Overview and Methodology

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 21 participants, including 8 with DMD and 13 in the control group (CG). Both groups were evaluated on land and during water immersion for various parameters such as oxygen saturation (SatO2), heart rate (HR), maximal inspiratory (PImax) and expiratory (PEmax) pressures, minute volume (MV), respiratory rate (RR), tidal volume (TV), forced vital capacity (FVC), and cough peak flow (CPF).

Key Findings

The DMD group experienced a decrease in FVC in water, while the CG showed reductions in CPF and RR, and an increase in TV after immersion. Positive correlations were found between FVC values on land and in water for both groups, as well as CPF values in the DMD group. These correlations suggest a formula to estimate these ventilatory parameters in water based on land measurements, which could be crucial for aquatic therapy indications for DMD patients.

Conclusions and Implications

The study reveals that immersion affects ventilatory parameters differently in DMD patients compared to healthy individuals, highlighting the need to consider these changes when prescribing aquatic therapy for DMD patients. The positive correlations between FVC and CPF in both environments provide a basis for estimating these parameters in water, ensuring safer aquatic therapy planning for DMD patients.

Keywords: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, water immersion, ventilatory parameters, aquatic therapy, forced vital capacity, cough peak flow.

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