Inspiratory Muscle Training in Patients With Heart Failure: What Is New? Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Phys Ther. 2020 12 07; 100(12):2099-2109.PT
The benefits of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) have already been demonstrated in patients with heart failure (HF), but the best mode of training and which patients benefit from this intervention are not clear. The purpose of this study was to review the effects of IMT on respiratory muscle strength, functional capacity, pulmonary function, quality of life, and dyspnea in patients with HF; IMT isolated or combined with another intervention (combined IMT), the presence of inspiratory muscle weakness, training load, and intervention time were considered.
The search included the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and LILACS database through September 2019. The review included randomized studies that assessed IMT in isolation or combined with another intervention-in comparison with a control group, a placebo, or another intervention-in patients with HF. Fourteen studies were included, 13 for meta-analysis (10 for isolated IMT and 3 for combined IMT).
Isolated IMT demonstrated an increase in maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) (25.12 cm H2O; 95% CI = 15.29 - 34.95), 6-Minute Walk Test (81.18 m; 95% CI = 9.73 - 152.63), maximum oxygen consumption (12 weeks: 3.75 mL/kg/min; 95% CI = 2.98 to 4.51), and quality of life (-20.68; 95% CI = -29.03 to -12.32). The presence of inspiratory muscle weakness, higher loads, and longer intervention times resulted in greater increases in MIP. IMT combined with another intervention demonstrated an increase only in MIP.
Isolated IMT resulted in an increase in inspiratory muscle strength, functional capacity, and quality of life. IMT combined with another intervention resulted only in a small increase in inspiratory strength. Isolated IMT with higher loads can be considered an adjuvant intervention, especially for those who do not adhere to conventional rehabilitation and who have respiratory muscle weakness.
A systematic review was necessary to review the effects of IMT on respiratory muscle strength, lung function, functional capacity, quality of life, and dyspnea in patients with HF. Various clinical issues important for a better training prescription were considered; these included whether the performance of the training IMT as a form of isolated training benefits patients with HF, whether the combination of IMT with another intervention has additional effects, whether any patient with HF can benefit from IMT (alone or combined with another intervention), and whether only patients who already have respiratory muscle weakness benefit. Also important was establishing which training load provides the best result and the best intervention time, so that health care can be provided more efficiently.
For people with heart failure, IMT by itself, without being combined with other exercise, can improve ease of breathing, increase the amount of distance that they can walk, and improve quality of life. Inspiratory training with higher loads might be helpful for those with respiratory muscle weakness who are unable to do conventional exercise.