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Role of Endorphins in the Perception of Dyspnea in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Identifier:
First received: April 8, 2007
Last updated: October 31, 2007
Last verified: October 2007

Endorphins are naturally occurring narcotic substances that are released when individuals perform exercise. The hypothesis of the study is that endorphins reduce the severity of breathlessness during exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The initial five visits include familiarization and validation of a computerized system for patients to report dyspnea and leg discomfort continuously during exercise testing.

At Visits 6 and 7 blood is drawn to measure serum endorphin levels pre-exercise, end exercise, and 30 minutes after exercise. Normal saline or naloxone is given intravenously 5 minutes prior to exercise in a double-blinded design. The primary outcome is the slope of oxygen consumption - dyspnea.

Condition Intervention
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Drug: naloxone versus placebo Drug: intravenous injection of normal saline or naloxone

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
Official Title: Role of Endorphins in the Perception of Dyspnea in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Slope of oxygen consumption - dyspnea during treadmill exercise. [ Time Frame: throughout exercise ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Exercise duration [ Time Frame: 10-14 minutes ]
  • Peak ratings of breathlessness [ Time Frame: at end of exercsie - 10-15 minutes ]

Enrollment: 17
Study Start Date: September 2005
Study Completion Date: May 2007
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: A: naloxone; B: normal saline
Arm A: IV naloxone Arm B: IV normal saline
Drug: naloxone versus placebo
10 mg of naloxone administered IV or normal saline administered IV in randomized order at different visits
Drug: intravenous injection of normal saline or naloxone
Arm A: 10 mg of naloxone given IV in 25 ml of normal saline Arm B: 25 ml of normal saline


Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 90 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of COPD
  • Ability to exercise
  • Ability to computer mouse to provide ratings
  • > 10 pack-years smoking
  • Baseline dyspnea index < 9

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically significant comorbidities
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00458419

United States, New Hampshire
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, New Hampshire, United States, 03756-0001
Sponsors and Collaborators
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Doanld A Mahler, MD Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00458419     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 17355
Study First Received: April 8, 2007
Last Updated: October 31, 2007

Keywords provided by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center:
dyspnea; leg discomfort; exercise duration

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiration Disorders
Signs and Symptoms, Respiratory
Signs and Symptoms
Narcotic Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on September 21, 2017