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Cardiac functional capacity :Do not under-estimate the value of 6 minute walk test !

Posted Dec 31 2012 1:28pm

6 minute walk test is the simplest of all functional testing in cardiac evaluation . Though  walking  is  a routine day to day motion ,  it is  essentially  a hemo-dynamic stress for the  heart ,  especially so for an ailing heart . Even though  it appears  simplest  of all investigation  there are strict guidelines  available for performing  this .

It is  surprising  American thoracic society  has come out  with a  specific guideline for this .Many of us  are not aware of  existence of such guideline   ,  hence this post  , with courtesy of ATS I am  giving a link.

    Guyatt G. H.,Sullivan M. J.,Thompson P. J.,(1985)  The six-minute walk: a new measure of exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 132:919–923.

Butland R. J. A.,Pang J.,Gross E. R.,(1982) Two, six, and 12 minute walking tests in respiratory disease. B.M.J. 284:1607–1608.

History and genesis of the concept

It was originally used in COPD in 1976 with a 12 minute walk .Cardiologists abbreviated it to 6 mts for their convenience.

McGavin CR, Gupta SP, McHardy GJR. Twelve minute walking test  for assessing disability in chronic bronchitis. Br Med J 1976;i:822-3.


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