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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 354276, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Respiratory Muscle Training in Patients Recovering Recent Open Cardiothoracic Surgery: A Randomized-Controlled Trial

1University of Modena, DU of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Via del Pozzo 171, 41121 Modena, Italy
2Villa Pineta Hospital, Lung Unit and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Via Gaiato 127, 41020 Pavullo nel Frignano, Modena, Italy

Received 26 April 2013; Accepted 4 June 2013

Academic Editor: Lee Ingle

Copyright © 2013 Ernesto Crisafulli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To evaluate the clinical efficacy and feasibility of an expiratory muscle training (EMT) device (Respilift) applied to patients recovering from recent open cardiothoracic surgery (CTS). Design. Prospective, double-blind, 14-day randomised-controlled trial. Participants and Setting. A total of 60 inpatients recovering from recent CTS and early admitted to a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Interventions. Chest physiotherapy plus EMT with a resistive load of 30 cm H2O for active group and chest physiotherapy plus EMT with a sham load for control group. Measures. Changes in maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) were considered as primary outcome, while maximal inspiratory pressures (MIP), dynamic and static lung volumes, oxygenation, perceived symptoms of dyspnoea, thoracic pain, and well being (evaluated by visual analogic scale—VAS) and general health status were considered secondary outcomes. Results. All outcomes recorded showed significant improvements in both groups; however, the change of MEP (+34.2 mmHg, and +26.1%, for absolute and % of predicted, resp.) was significantly higher in active group. Also VAS dyspnoea improved faster and more significantly ( ) at day 12, and 14 in active group when compared with control. The drop-out rate was 6%, without differences between groups. Conclusions. In patients recovering from recent CTS, specific EMT by Respilift is feasible and effective. This trial is registered with NCT01510275.