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Editorials |

Clinical Usefulness and Limitations of the 6-Minute Walk Test in Patients With Cardiovascular or Pulmonary Disease

Tony Reybrouck, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Leuven, Belgium
 ,  Dr. Reybrouck is Professor of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Department of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, and Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Leuven.

Correspondence to: Tony Reybrouck, PhD, Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; e-mail: tony.reybrouck@uz.kuleuven.ac.be



Chest. 2003;123(2):325-327. doi:10.1378/chest.123.2.325
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Originally timed walk/run tests (such as the 12-min running or walking test) have been developed as nonlaboratory estimates of physical fitness in healthy subjects that correlate with maximal oxygen uptake.1 The rationale for such a test was that there was a need for nonlaboratory tests to help in the screening of large populations. This test also enabled us to evaluate patients during normal physical activity. Earlier studies14 repeatedly have shown good correlations between the distance covered by patients during a 12-min walk/run test and the laboratory measurements of aerobic exercise function such as maximal oxygen uptake or ventilatory anaerobic threshold. The test also has been widely used in the assessment of physical fitness in large populations.1,4

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