Preoperative inspiratory muscle training prevents pulmonary complications after cardiac surgery - a systematic review

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INTRODUCTION: Post-operative pulmonary complications are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing heart surgery. The aim of this systematic review was to determine if preoperative inspiratory muscle training could prevent the development of pneumonia and atelectasis in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or heart valve surgery.

METHODS: Systematic searches were performed in MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Library. The included studies compared the development of pneumonia and atelectasis in CABG patients or heart valve surgery patients who were prescribed either preoperative inspiratory muscle training or usual care. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.

RESULTS: The search yielded 2,479 records. The inclusion criteria were fulfilled by five studies. All the studies were randomised controlled trials. We found that the development of both pneumonia and atelectasis was significantly reduced among patients who received inspiratory muscle training preoperatively compared with patients treated with usual care.

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative inspiratory muscle training may reduce the risk of developing pneumonia and atelectasis. However, more trials are needed to support and strengthen the evidence found in this systematic review before routine implementation of this kind of training preoperatively.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5450
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Breathing Exercises, Coronary Artery Bypass/adverse effects, Humans, Length of Stay, Muscle Strength, Pneumonia/prevention & control, Postoperative Complications/prevention & control, Preoperative Care/methods, Pulmonary Atelectasis/prevention & control, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Respiratory Muscles/physiopathology

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