Published online Aug 7, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i29.3996
Revised: March 10, 2007
Accepted: March 26, 2007
Published online: August 7, 2007
AIM: To examine the utility of Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD).
METHODS: Two hundred and fifty subjects between the ages of 18 and 80 (mean 47) years performed 6MWT and the Six Minute Walk Distance (6MWD) was measured.
RESULTS: The subjects were categorized into four groups. Group A (n = 45) healthy subjects (control); group B (n = 49) chronic hepatitis B patients; group C (n = 54) chronic hepatitis C patients; group D (n = 98) liver cirrhosis patients. The four groups differed in terms of 6MWDs (P < 0.001). The longest distance walked was 421 ± 47 m by group A, then group B (390 ± 53 m), group C (357 ± 72 m) and group D (306 ± 111 m). The 6MWD correlated with age (r = -0.482, P < 0.01), hemoglobin (r = +0.373, P < 0.001) and albumin (r = +0.311, P < 0.001) levels. The Child-Pugh classification was negatively correlated with the 6MWD in cirrhosis (group D) patients (r = -0.328, P < 0.01). At the end of a 12 mo follow-up period, 15 of the 98 cirrhosis patients had died from disease complications. The 6MWD for the surviving cirrhotic patients was longer than for non-survivors (317 ± 101 vs 245 ± 145 m, P = 0.021; 95% CI 11-132). The 6MWD was found to be an independent predictor of survival (P = 0.024).
CONCLUSION: 6MWT is a useful tool for assessing physical function in CLD patients. We suggest that 6MWD may serve as a prognostic indicator in patients with liver cirrhosis.