(HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing lung transplantation, six-minute walk distance (6MWD) predicts postoperative survival, according to a study published online June 11 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Anthony W. Castleberry, M.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the correlation between 6MWD and postoperative survival following lung transplantation. Data were analyzed from 9,526 adult patients who underwent first-time, lung-only transplantations.
The researchers observed a significantly lower overall risk of death with increasing 6MWD (P < 0.001). An incremental survival advantage was conferred via continuous increase in walk distance through 1,200 to 1,400 feet. Despite the strong correlation between 6MWD with survival, the impact of a single dichotomous value for predicting outcomes was limited. Increasing 6MWD correlated with significantly longer survival for all disease categories (P ≤ 0.009) apart from Pulmonary Vascular Disease (P = 0.74), although in this category, low volume may have affected the ability to identify an association, according to the authors.
“6MWD is significantly associated with post-transplant survival and is best incorporated into transplant evaluations on a continuous basis given limited ability of a single, dichotomous value to predict outcomes,” the authors write.