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Neuromuscul Disord. 2007 May;17(5):385-91. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

The effect of respiratory muscle endurance training in patients with myasthenia gravis.

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Carl Ludwig Institute of Physiology, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 27, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.


We tested the effect of a home-based respiratory muscle endurance training in patients with mild to moderate generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) on Besinger score, lung function and respiratory muscle endurance. Ten patients performed respiratory muscle endurance training in form of normocapnic hyperpnea training at 50-60% of their maximal voluntary ventilation over 4-6 weeks. MG score, lung function and respiratory endurance were assessed before and after training period. The training significantly increased respiratory endurance from 8.4+/-0.9 min to 17.1+/-1.3 min (p<0.001) and total ventilatory volume from 555+/-87 L to 1081+/-127 L (p=0.004). About 25% of this gain was lost after 3-5 months of detraining. The remaining 75% gain might result from improved neuromuscular coordination rather than muscular training. MG score and lung function, however, did not change. Patients assessed the training effects on physical fitness and respiration as positive. In conclusion, respiratory muscle endurance training can be useful for MG patients as it is enhancing respiratory muscle endurance.

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