COPD causes severe impairment in functional and work capacity, as well as in the quality of life of these patients. The intolerance to physical exercise is related to important systemic components, affecting the endothelial function of these patients. The endothelium is able to respond acutely during exercise, exerting an important modulating role of O2 delivery at the periphery. However, endothelial function responses during exercise have not yet been investigated in COPD. Objectives: The objective of this proposal will be to evaluate the acute effects of exercise-mediated vasodilation in patients with COPD. Methodology: Fourteen COPD patients will be evaluated through a maximal exercise test or limited symptom. Endothelial function will be assessed by means of the flow-mediated vasodilation technique, before and shortly after exercise, by means of ultrasound analysis of the brachial artery. Study hypothesis: We hypothesized that flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery is impaired shortly after exercise, thus reducing O2 delivery in the periphery of patients with COPD. We hypothesize also that there is an association between the parameters related to FMD and the functional limitation of these patients. Contributions intended: This study will contribute to the knowledge and elucidation of the impact of COPD on exercise capacity and endothelial function.
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