Effects of exercise and β2-agonists on lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Angelo Corsico, Paola Fulgoni, Massimiliano Beccaria, Maria Cristina Zoia, Giovanni Barisione, Riccardo Pellegrino, Vito Brusasco, Isa Cerveri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of inhaled bronchodilators at rest and during exercise were studied in 15 subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In a crossover study against placebo, albuterol caused a significant increase in expiratory flow and reduced lung hyperinflation and dyspnea at rest, but this was not associated with differences in symptoms with exercise or any relevant parameter of physical performance. Dynamic hyperinflation occurred during exercise similarly after placebo or albuterol and was associated with a reduction of forced expiratory flows. This, in turn, was correlated with the bronchoconstrictor effect of deep inhalation determined at rest. In a parallel group study, expiratory flow was increased by 3-wk treatment with salmeterol (n = 9) but not with placebo (n = 6). However, in neither group was the response to exercise different from baseline. These results suggest that in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease effective pharmacological bronchodilation at rest may not be predictive of benefits of exercise tolerance. This may be related to the occurrence of airway narrowing during exercise, particularly when a deep inhalation at rest is followed by a decrease in expiratory flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2053-2058
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Deep inhalation
  • Dyspnea
  • Lung hyperinflation
  • Maximal and partial flow-volume loops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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