In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), skeletal muscle dysfunction is a major comorbidity that negatively impacts their exercise capacity and quality of life. In the current guidelines, the most recent literature on the various aspects of COPD muscle dysfunction has been included. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) scale has been used to make evidence-based recommendations on the different features. Compared to a control population, one third of COPD patients exhibited a 25% decline in quadriceps muscle strength, even at early stages of their disease. Although both respiratory and limb muscles are altered, the latter are usually more severely affected. Numerous factors and biological mechanisms are involved in the etiology of COPD muscle dysfunction. Several tests are proposed in order to diagnose and evaluate the degree of muscle dysfunction of both respiratory and limb muscles (peripheral), as well as to identify the patients’ exercise capacity (six-minute walking test and cycloergometry). Currently available therapeutic strategies including the different training modalities and pharmacological and nutritional support are also described.
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