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Neuromodulatory Effect of Endogenous Opioids on the Intensity and Unpleasantness of Breathlessness during Resistive Load Breathing in COPD.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21513438     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Background: Endogenous opioids are naturally occurring peptides released by the brain in response to noxious stimuli. Although these naturally occurring peptides modulate pain, it is unknown whether endogenous opioids affect the perception of breathlessness associated with a specific respiratory challenge. The hypothesis is that intravenous administration of naloxone, used to block opioid signaling and inhibit neural pathways, will increase ratings of breathlessness during resistive load breathing (RLB) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: Fourteen patients with COPD (age, 64 ± 9 years) inspired through resistances during practice sessions to identify an individualized target load that caused ratings of intensity and/or unpleasantness of breathlessness ≥ 50 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale. At two intervention visits, serum beta-endorphins were measured, naloxone (10 mg/25 ml) or normal saline (25 ml) was administered intravenously, and patients rated the two dimensions of breathlessness each minute during RLB. Results: Patient ratings of intensity (p = 0.0004) and unpleasantness (p = 0.024) of breathlessness were higher with naloxone compared with normal saline. Eleven patients (79%) reported that it was easier to breathe during RLB with normal saline (p = 0.025). RLB led to significant increases in serum beta-endorphin immunoreactivity and decreases in inspiratory capacity. There were no significant differences in physiological responses between interventions. Conclusions: Endogenous opioids modulate the intensity and the unpleasantness of breathlessness in patients with COPD. Differences in breathlessness ratings between interventions were clinically relevant based on the patients' global assessment.
Alex H Gifford; Donald A Mahler; Laurie A Waterman; Joseph Ward; William J Kraemer; Brian R Kupchak; John C Baird
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-4-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  COPD     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1541-2563     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-4-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101211769     Medline TA:  COPD     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA,1.
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