Objective: To investigate the feasibility and validity of using the novel axillary:umbilical (A:U) ratio and sustained maximal inspiratory pressure (SMIP) as supplementary measures in the assessment of respiratory function in people with spinal cord injury. Design: Pilot study with a single day of data collection. All measurements were taken with participants in their personal wheelchairs to best represent normal functioning and positioning for each individual. Setting: Research institution. Participants: A convenience sample of 30 community dwelling volunteers with chronic spinal cord injury (C2-T12, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale A-D) participated. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Participants underwent anthropometric measurements (trunk height, abdominal circumference, axillary circumference) and assessment of inspiratory muscle performance, incluidng maximal inspiratory pressure, SMIP, and inspiratory duration, as well as standard pulmonary function tests. Results: The A:U ratio and SMIP were recorded for all participants. The SMIP was significantly related to more respiratory performance measures than the maximal inspiratory pressure (P<.05) and the A:U ratio was significantly related to more respiratory performance measures than any other anthropometric measure (P<.05). Additionally, an A:U ratio cutoff point detected individuals with a peak expiratory flow ≥ 80% of their predicted value with a sensitivity and specificity of 85.7% and 91.3%, respectively (area under the curve: 0.92). Conclusions: It is feasible to capture the A:U Ratio and SMIP in individuals with spinal cord injury. Further, the strong significant relationships of SMIP and the A:U ratio to respiratory performance measures suggests their clinical importance in the pulmonary assessment and risk stratification of people with chronic spinal cord injury.
- Respiratory function tests
- Spinal cord injuries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation