[Six minutes walk for the assessment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]

Rev Med Chil. 2008 Aug;136(8):1056-64. Epub 2008 Oct 7.
[Article in Spanish]


Exercise capacity can be evaluated in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), measuring the distance that patients are able to walk in 6 minutes (six-minute walk distance test; 6WDT). This test is simple to perform, inexpensive, reproducible and safe. It has been frequently employed for the assessment of COPD patients due to its high prognostic value of mortality and its usefulness to evaluate long-term of therapeutic interventions. In severe stages of the disease, the declining results of the best are useful to detect worsening. This review describes the method, standardization and reference values for the 6WDY and the results obtained with different therapeutic interventions, based on data from the literature and from the authors' experience. We also review its predictive value for mortality and its value in the assessment of patients with more severe COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Walking / physiology*