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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Oct;152(4 Pt 1):1268-74.

Physiologic effects of nutritional support and anabolic steroids in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A placebo-controlled randomized trial.

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Department of Pulmonology, University Hospital Maastricht, Oss, The Netherlands.


Nutritional depletion commonly occurs in patients with COPD, causing muscle wasting and impaired physiologic function. Two hundred seventeen patients with COPD participated in a placebo-controlled, randomized trial investigating the physiologic effects of nutritional intervention alone (N) for 8 wk or combined with the anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate (N + A). Nandrolone decanoate or placebo (P) was injected intramuscularly (women, 25 mg; men, 50 mg) in a double-blind fashion on Days 1, 15, 29, and 43. Nutritional intervention consisted of a daily high caloric supplement (420 kcal; 200 ml). Also, all patients participated in an exercise program. In the depleted patients, both treatment regimens induced a similar significant body weight gain (2.6 kg) but different body compositional changes. Particularly in the last 4 wk of treatment, weight gain in the N group was predominantly due to an expansion of fat mass (p < 0.03 versus P and N + A), whereas the relative changes in fat-free mass (FFM) and other measures of muscle mass were more favorable in the N + A group (p < 0.03 versus P). Maximal inspiratory mouth pressure improved within both treatment groups in the first 4 wk of treatment, but after 8 wk only N + A was significantly different from P (p < 0.03). Nutritional supplementation in combination with a short course of anabolic steroids may enhance the gain in FFM and respiratory muscle function in depleted patients with COPD without causing adverse side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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