Distance and oxygen desaturation in 6-min walk test predict prognosis in COPD patients

Respir Med. 2007 Mar;101(3):561-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2006.06.017. Epub 2006 Aug 8.


The aim of the present study was to predict the prognosis of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who underwent comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). A total of 144 patients who performed PR between 1992 and 1999 was assessed. After PR, 67 patients underwent lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). Baseline data before PR consisted of body mass index, serum albumin levels, use of supplement oxygen at home, pulmonary function, arterial blood gas analysis, and distance and fall of hemoglobin oxygen saturation (DeltaSpO(2)) in 6-min walk test. In addition to pre-PR factors, treatment with LVRS was taken into the analysis. The prognostic significance of variables influencing survival was determined by univariate analysis with Log rank test or multivariate analysis using Cox's proportional hazard model. By a median follow-up time of 8.4 years, the median survival time was 8.1 years (95% confidence interval: 6.9-9.4 years). Albumin level, PaCO(2), distance and DeltaSpO(2) were significant prognostic factors in univariate analysis. LVRS did not affect the prognosis. The multivariate analysis showed short distance and increase of DeltaSpO(2) as significant independent predictors of the risk of death. 6-min walk test was very useful for predicting the prognosis of the COPD patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carbon Dioxide / physiology
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology


  • Serum Albumin
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen