Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-19

Six minute walk test in respiratory diseases: A university hospital experience

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine (38), King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Hatem FS Al Ameri
P.O. Box: 2925, 11461, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.25865

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BACKGROUND: Six minutes walk test (6MWT), is a sub-maximal exercise test, used as a clinical indicator of the functional capacity, in patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. Its safety, validity, reliability and its correlation with several physiological instruments, are well studied. However, there are no published data on 6MWT, in the Saudi population. We are reviewing our experience with 6MWT and assessing its safety and its correlation with pulmonary function variables, in patients with pulmonary diseases, in our local population. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We consecutively studied patients with pulmonary diseases, who underwent 6MWT and pulmonary function test in King Khalid University Hospital, from June 2003 to December 2004. The 6MWTs were conducted according to the American Thoracic Society guidelines. Spirometry, lung volumes and diffusion capacity measurements were correlated with the absolute walked distance. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty nine tests were performed. All patients were of the Saudi community (59% female), with mean age of 4315 years. Out of 129 patients, 65 patients had proven respiratory diagnosis. In all patients, the test were performed with no serious complications. The six minute walk distance (6MWD) had correlation with patient's height (r=+0.40, P <0.001), but not with patients' weight, BMI, borg scale, or oxygen saturation. The 6MWD correlated significantly with Dlco (r=+0.52, P <0.01), FVC (r=+0.46, r<0.001) and had a weaker relation with FEV1 (r=+0.31, P <0.05). The test had no significant correlation with lung volumetric parameters (TLC, FRC and RV). CONCLUSION: 6MWT is simple and safe test in evaluating patients with chronic pulmonary diseases in the Saudi population. In our study, 6MWD showed correlation with spirometric parameters and diffusion capacity. Further studies are needed to evaluate 6MWT in a more homogenous patients' population.

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