Effect of high-flow nasal therapy during early pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with severe AECOPD: A randomized controlled study

Lan Fang Tung, Sheng Yeh Shen, Hui Hsuan Shih, Yen Ting Chen, Chia Te Yen, Shu Chuan Ho

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is airway inflammation characterized and low daily physical activity. Most pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programs are often provided to stable patients, but fewer training programs are specific for hospitalized patients with acute exacerbation (AE). Patients with AECOPD experience increased dyspnea sensations and systemic inflammation during exercise training. High-flow nasal therapy (HFNT) reduces the minute volume, lowers the respiratory rate, and decreases the work of breathing. However, it is not clear whether HFNT is efficient during exercise training. In this study, we investigated the effects of HFNT during exercise training in an early PR program among hospitalized patients with severe AECOPD. Methods: We enrolled COPD patients hospitalized due to AE. They were randomized into two groups according to their status into HFNT PR and non-HFNT PR groups. This study collected basic data, and also assessed a pulmonary function test, 6-min walking test, blood inflammatory biomarkers, and arterial gas analysis at the baseline, and at 4 and 12 weeks of the intervention. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. Result: We recruited 44 AECOPD patients who completed the 12-week PR program. The HFNT PR program produced significant improvements in exercise tolerance as assessed by the 6-min walking distance (6MWD), reduced dyspnea sensations in the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC), and decreased systemic inflammation as evidenced by the a lower C-reactive protein (CRP) level. A reduction in the length of hospitalization was achieved with PR in the 1-year follow-up in the two groups. The HFNT PR group showed better trends of reduced air trapping in the delta inspiration capacity (IC) and an increased quality of life according to the COPD assessment test (CAT) than did the non-HFNT PR group. Conclusions: HFNT during exercise training in early PR increases exercise tolerance and reduces systemic inflammation in hospitalized patients with severe AECOPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2020


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • CRP
  • Dyspnea sensation
  • High-flow nasal therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Six-minute walking distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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