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Six-Minute Walk Distance Predicts Lung Transplant Survival

Increase in walk distance up to 1,400 feet confers incremental survival advantage

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Preoperative six-minute walk distance (6MWD) is significantly associated with post-lung transplant survival, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Anthony W. Castleberry, M.D., from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues evaluated the association between 6MWD and postoperative survival after adult, first-time, lung-only transplantation (9,526 patients; May 2005 to December 2011).

The researchers found that the median 6MWD was 787 feet and that increasing 6MWD was associated with significantly lower overall hazard of death. There was an incremental survival advantage conferred by continuous increase in walk distance through 1,200 to 1,400 feet. All disease categories, except for pulmonary vascular disease, demonstrated significantly longer survival with increasing 6MWD, although the low volume in this category (312 patients) may limit the ability to detect an association.

“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.

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