Measurement properties of the 6-min walk test in individuals with exercise-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension
Fowler, R. M., Jenkins, S. C., Maiorana, A. J., Gain, K. R., O'Driscoll, G., & Gabbay, E. (2011). Measurement properties of the 6-min walk test in individuals with exercise-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension. Internal Medicine Journal, 41(9), 679–687. doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02501.x
Background: Exercise-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (EIPAH) is associated with reduced peak exercise cardiac output (CO) and aerobic capacity (peak ). We investigated the validity of the encouraged 6-min walk test (6MWT) to identify exercise limitation and estimate aerobic capacity in subjects with EIPAH.
Methods: Seventeen subjects with EIPAH (56 ± 14 years, 15 women) and 20 healthy controls (57 ± 13 years, 19 women) underwent two encouraged 6MWTs and a symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). To measure central haemodynamics, subjects with EIPAH performed the CPET with a pulmonary artery catheter in situ.
Results: Compared with controls, subjects with EIPAH had reduced peak (1.2 ± 0.4 vs 1.7 ± 0.5, L/min, P < 0.01), 6-min walk distance (6MWD) (575 ± 86 vs 669 ± 76 m, P < 0.001) and 6-min walk work (6MWW) (39 ± 11 vs 45 ± 7 km.kg, P < 0.01). In subjects with EIPAH, there was a moderate correlation between 6MWD and peak (r= 0.72, P < 0.01) and a strong correlation between 6MWW and peak (r= 0.86, P < 0.001). There were significant correlations between 6MWD and peak CO (r= 0.59, P < 0.05), and between peak and peak CO (r= 0.55, P < 0.05). Peak heart rate was similar in the CPET and 6MWT in subjects with EIPAH (133 ± 15 vs 133 ± 19 beats/min, P= 0.8).
Conclusions: The encouraged 6MWT identifies reduced exercise capacity and provides a valid estimate of aerobic capacity in EIPAH.