1. Vieira, Fabiola C. O. S. MSc
  2. Pereira, Daniele S. PhD
  3. Costa, Thacianna B. PhD
  4. Souza, Rilda C. A. MSc
  5. Castro, Celia M. M. B. PhD
  6. Dornelas de Andrade, Armele PhD
  7. Marinho, Patricia Erika de Melo PhD


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a long-term pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP) on functional capacity, maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), quality of life, and plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-[alpha]), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors 1 and 2 (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2, respectively), and cytokine interleukin 1beta (IL-1[beta]) in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Methods: In a quasi-experimental study, PRP effectiveness was investigated in elderly patients with stage I-IV COPD undergoing a 6-mo training program. Participants took part in an 80-min PRP 3 times/wk. Before and after the intervention, the distance walked during a 6-min walk test (6MWD), MIP, St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and plasma levels of TNF-[alpha], sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and IL-1[beta] were evaluated.


Results: In 7 patients who completed the PRP and had markers evaluated, we observed improvement in 6MWD (range, 26-331 m) and MIP for most patients. There was an improvement in impact and total domains for all patients and in symptoms and activity for most patients on the SGRQ at the completion of the PRP. TNF-[alpha], sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and IL-1[beta] increased in some patients at the end of the PRP. The 6-mo PRP improved functional capacity, MIP, and quality of life for most patients.


Conclusions: Inflammatory markers showed various changes at the end of the study; however, only sTNFR2 levels improved after the PRP.