The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of the addition of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to endurance training (ET) in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF). Fifteen patients with mild to moderate CF were randomised to 6 weeks of ET alone or combined with NMES (ET+NMES), performed at home. Each patient served as its own control and realized both training modalities. Ten healthy controls also performed the ET+NMES. Measurement of peripheral muscle strength and endurance, peak oxygen uptake, maximal aerobic power and lactate concentration determined during maximal incremental cycling test and six-min walking distance (6MWD) were obtained at baseline and after training. Nine patients completed ET and ET+NMES and constituted the study group (age: 27+/-7 yr, FEV1 = 52+/-15.7% predicted). ET+NMES was well tolerated in both groups. Improvements in 6MWD (p = 0.01) and maximal aerobic power (p = 0.008) were observed only after ET+NMES in CF patients. Trends towards improvement in quadriceps endurance (p = 0.07) and reduction in whole blood lactate for a given workload (p = 0.07) were also observed in this group after ET+NMES. The addition of NMES to classic ET is safe and may improve some markers of muscle function and aerobic fitness in CF patients. However, further studies using larger cohorts of patients across the disease spectrum are required to confirm these preliminary findings.
Gruet, M., Mely, L., Brisswalter, J., & Vallier, J.-M. (2012). 208 Neuromuscular electrical stimulation in cystic fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, 11, S109. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1569-1993(12)60378-6