Stacking Exercises Aid the Decline in FVC and Sick Time | DuchenneXchange

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Stacking Exercises Aid the Decline in FVC and Sick Time

key information

study id #: NCT01999075

condition: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

status: completed


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is complicated by weak breathing muscles and lung infections. “Lung volume recruitment” is a technique performed using a face mask or mouthpiece and a hand-held resuscitation bag to stack breaths, inflate the lungs and help clear the airways of secretions by increasing the forcefulness of a cough. We believe this will slow down the steady loss of lung function, prevent lung infection, and improve quality of life. Our aim is to compare the outcome of a group of individuals with DMD treated with standard care to another group that also receives lung volume recruitment. If effective, this study will change clinical practice by including twice-daily treatment as part of the standard of care for individuals with DMD, in order to improve their lung health and quality of life.

intervention: Lung Volume Recruitment (LVR), Conventional Treatment

mechanism of action: No pharmaceutical intervention


last updated: December 28, 2018

study details

start date: March 2013

estimated completion: November 22, 2018

phase of development: Phase 4

size / enrollment: 70

study description:
Respiratory complications are the primary cause of morbidity and mortality associated with childhood Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Involvement of the respiratory muscles leads to progressive hypoventilation and/or recurrent atelectasis and pneumonia secondary to decreased cough efficacy. Lung volume recruitment (LVR) is a means of stacking breaths to achieve maximal lung inflation (MIC), prevent micro-atelectasis, and improve cough efficacy. Although it has been recommended by some experts as the "standard of care" for individuals with neuromuscular disease, the strategy has not been widely implemented in DMD given the lack of clinical trials to date to support its efficacy as well as the additional burden of care required in a population already requiring multiple interventions.
Primary Objective: To determine whether LVR, in addition to conventional treatment, is successful in reducing decline from baseline in forced vital capacity (FVC) over 2 years (percent predicted, measured according to American Thoracic Society standards), compared to conventional treatment alone in children with DMD.
Secondary Objectives: To determine differences between children treated with LVR in addition to conventional treatment, compared to those treated with conventional treatment alone, in: (1) the number of courses of antibiotics, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions for respiratory exacerbations, (2) health-related quality of life, and (3) peak cough flow and other pulmonary function tests.
Methods: We propose a 3-year multi-centre randomized controlled trial involving fifteen tertiary care pediatric hospitals across Canada. The study population consists of boys aged 6-16 years with DMD and FVC >= 30% of predicted. A sample size of 110 participants will be enrolled. This has been informed by chart review and survey of participating centres to be feasible, and will be re-assessed with an ongoing internal pilot study. Intervention: Participants will be allocated with a minimization procedure to receive conventional treatment (non-invasive ventilation, nutritional supplementation, physiotherapy and/or antibiotics, as decided by the treating physician) or conventional treatment plus twice daily LVR exercises performed with an inexpensive, portable self-inflating resuscitation bag containing a one-way valve and a mouthpiece. Data Analysis: The primary outcome (change in percent predicted FVC over 2 years) will be compared between the two study groups using an analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) that takes into account baseline FVC and minimization factors.
Importance: Decline in pulmonary function among children with DMD negatively affects quality of life and predicts mortality. The relatively simple strategy of LVR has the potential to optimize pulmonary function and reduce respiratory exacerbations, thereby improving quality of life for individuals with DMD. This study is novel in that it is the first randomized controlled trial of LVR. A major strength is that the results will give support or refute recommendations regarding inclusion of LVR in the standard of care for individuals with DMD worldwide.

primary outcomes:

  • Relative decline in FVC (%-predicted) over 2 years, measured according to American Thoracic Society (ATS) standards, using the Stanojevic normative equations. [Time Frame: 2 years]
    Relative decline in FVC (%-predicted) was chosen as the primary outcome as it is a strong predictor of subsequent respiratory failure and mortality. Although survival is not a realistic endpoint for this trial, given expected mortality is less than 5% for the pediatric age group, FVC decline is an appropriate clinical laboratory measure and valid surrogate endpoint to use for this trial.

secondary outcomes:

  • Time to FVC decline of 10% of predicted. [Time Frame: 2 years]
  • Total number and duration of outpatient oral antibiotic courses, hospital and ICU admissions for respiratory exacerbations over 2 years [Time Frame: 2 years]
  • Health-related quality of life over 2 years [Time Frame: 2 years]
    Measured biannually with PedsQL 4.0, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory
  • Change in unassisted peak cough flow (PCF), maximal insufflation capacity (MIC), maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP, MEP), as well as MIC and PCF with LVR, over 2 years [Time Frame: 2 years]

inclusion criteria:
• Age 6-16 years - This age range was selected as there are accepted normative pulmonary function data and children 6 years of age and older are generally able to reliably perform pulmonary function tests. Children are followed in participating centres until they reach 18 years of age (allowing two years of follow-up).
• Clinical phenotypic features consistent with DMD and confirmed by either: (1) Muscle biopsy showing complete dystrophin deficiency; (2) Genetic test positive for deletion or duplication in the dystrophin gene resulting in an 'out-of-frame' mutation; or (3) Dystrophin gene sequencing showing a mutation associated with DMD.
• FVC >=30% predicted - This range of pulmonary function was selected to exclude those with severe restrictive respiratory impairment, who are less likely to be able to reliably perform pulmonary function testing over a two year period.
• A caregiver willing to provide the therapy

exclusion criteria:
• Unable to perform pulmonary function tests and/or LVR manoeuvre
• Presence of an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube
• Already using LVR and/or the Respironics in-exsufflator between and during respiratory infections
• Known susceptibility to pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum
• Uncontrolled asthma or other obstructive lung disease
• Symptomatic cardiomyopathy (ejection fraction less than 50%)

study contacts

sponsor: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

investigators: Sherri Katz, MD

locations: Canada