Structural and functional changes of peripheral muscles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients

Roberto A. Rabinovich, Jordi Vilaró

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to identify new advances in our understanding of skeletal muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have confirmed the relevance of muscle dysfunction as an independent prognosis factor in COPD. Animal studies have shed light on the molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle hypertrophy/atrophy. Recent evidence in patients with COPD highlighted the contribution of protein breakdown and mitochondrial dysfunction as pathogenic mechanisms leading to muscle dysfunction in these patients. Summary: COPD is a debilitating disease impacting negatively on health status and the functional capacity of patients. COPD goes beyond the lungs and incurs significant systemic effects among which muscle dysfunction/wasting is one of the most important. Muscle dysfunction is a prominent contributor to exercise limitation, healthcare utilization and an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality. Gaining more insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to muscle dysfunction/wasting is key for the development of new and tailored therapeutic strategies to tackle skeletal muscle dysfunction/wasting in COPD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Muscle dysfunction
  • Muscle wasting
  • Systemic effects


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