Can a six-minute walk distance predict right ventricular dysfunction in patients with diffuse parenchymal lung disease and pulmonary hypertension?

Kamonpun Ussavarungsi, Augustine S. Lee, Charles Dwayne Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is commonly observed in patients with diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD). The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) as a simple, non-invasive tool to assess right ventricular (RV) function in patients with DPLD and to identify the need for an echocardiogram (ECHO) to screen for PH. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 48 patients with PH secondary to DPLD, who were evaluated in the PH clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, from January 1999 to December 2014. Results: Fifty-two percent of patients had RV dysfunction. They had a significantly greater right heart pressure by ECHO and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) from right heart catheterization (RHC) than those with normal RV function. A reduced 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) did not predict RV dysfunction (OR 0.995; 95% CI 0.980-1.001, p = 0.138). In addition, worsening restrictive physiology, heart rate at one-minute recovery and desaturation were not different between patients with and without RV dysfunction. However, there were inverse correlations between 6MWD and MPAP from RHC (r = -0.41, p = 0.010), 6MWD and RV systolic pressure (r = -0.51, p < 0.001), and 6MWD and MPAP measured by ECHO (r = -0.46, p =0.013). We also found no significant correlation between 6MWD and pulmonary function test parameters. Conclusions: Our single-center cohort of patients with PH secondary to DPLD, PH was found to have an impact on 6MWD. In contrast to our expectations, 6MWD was not useful to predict RV dysfunction. Interestingly, a severe reduction in the 6MWD was related to PH and not to pulmonary function; therefore, it may be used to justify an ECHO to identify patients with a worse prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016



  • 6-minute walk distance
  • Diffuse parenchymal lung diseases
  • Echocardiogram
  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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