A new study suggests that home-based electronic spirometry (e-spirometry) monitoring of respiratory function may offer benefits to young male patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, found high compliance and breathing improvements in a cohort of patients aged 7 to 22 years who performed home e-spirometry for 3 months.

The patients used a handheld e-spirometer device that was connected to the internet and transmitted the patients’ data on forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) to a physician platform for monitoring.

“In our study, we found that all participants reported the benefits of home telemonitoring, and most of them pointed to an improvement in breathing as the most important benefit achieved,” the authors wrote.


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“Performing regular breathing maneuvers during the home e-spirometry resulted not only in better patient experience in spirometry assessments but also in maintaining the strength of respiratory muscles. This could potentially lead to an increase in lung function in some patients.”

Previous studies have reported some success with home telespirometry for obstructive conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and asthma. This study was the first to apply such techniques to DMD, and the authors were encouraged by the results.

However, over time, patient adherence to the daily measurements fell, and by the end of the 3-month period, only 20% of the patients maintained good adherence (twice daily measurements). The authors recommend further research and experience with this promising method of everyday monitoring and respiratory muscle training in young patients with DMD.

Reference

Wasilewska E, Sobierajska-Rek A, Małgorzewicz S, Soliński M, Jassem E. Benefits of telemonitoring of pulmonary function—3-month follow-up of home electronic spirometry in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. J Clin Med. 2022;11(3):856. doi:10.3390/jcm11030856