The six minute walk (6MW) test has been used in pulmonary diseases such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension to assess functional status, response to therapy, and prognosis. However, there is a lack of data on the utilization of the 6MW in lung transplantation (LUT) recipients, including a reference for results of a 6MW in this cohort. We sought to describe and detail the results of the 6MW in our center's population of post LUT recipients, and observe for a normal or gaussian distribution of distance walked.
From 1991 to July 2005, 198 adults underwent LUT. 6MWs were measured on all post-LUT patients starting in 2000. This study is a historical cohort design. Re-transplants and LUT recipients not surviving to 6 months were excluded. A standard 6MW protocol was performed starting 6 months post-LUT with distances measured in meters. Continuous variables were analyzed with a paired t test. Categorical variables were analyzed with chi square method. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to test for normality in the cohort regarding distance walked.
Forty nine patients had a six month 6MW. Mean age was 45.9 +/− 16 years, 85% Caucasian, 57% female, 69% Bilateral LUT, BMI 22.3 +/− 4.8, mean pre op RVEF by MUGA 44.5% +/− 11.8%. The mean distanced walked at 6 months was 426 +/− 84.5 meters (m); range was 240m to 711m. The 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles of distance walked respectively were 362m, 423m and 480m. A normal distribution (p = 0.873) by Kolmogorov-Smirnov was demonstrated.
For the total cohort of LUT recipients surviving until 6 months, a gaussian (normal) distribution of distances walked can be expected with the 6MW.
6MWs are feasible post LUT. Expectations of the population's results of the 6MW by distance will vary in a gaussian distribution. Further study is required to delineate the prognostic ability of the 6MW in LUT recipients.
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