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Pediatr Nephrol. 2009 Nov;24(11):2217-23. doi: 10.1007/s00467-009-1259-x. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Six-minute walking test in children with ESRD: discrimination validity and construct validity.

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Department of Pediatric Physical Therapy & Exercise Physiology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The six-minute walking test (6MWT) may be a practical test for the evaluation functional exercise capacity in children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The aim of this study was to investigate the 6MWT performance in children with ESRD compared to reference values obtained in healthy children and, secondly, to study the relationship between 6MWT performance with anthropometric variables, clinical parameters, aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Twenty patients (13 boys and seven girls; mean age 14.1 +/- 3.4 years) on dialysis participated in this study. Anthropometrics were taken in a standardized manner. The 6MWT was performed in a 20-m-long track in a straight hallway. Aerobic fitness was measured using a cycle ergometer test to determine peak oxygen uptake (V O(2peak)), peak rate (W(peak)) and ventilatory threshold (VT). Muscle strength was measured using hand-held myometry. Children with ESRD showed a reduced 6MWT performance (83% of predicted, p < 0.0001), irrespective of the reference values used. The strongest predictors of 6MWT performance were haematocrit and height. Regression models explained 59% (haematocrit and height) to 60% (haematocrit) of the variance in 6MWT performance. 6MWT performance was not associated with V O(2peak), strength, or other anthropometric variables, but it was significantly associated with haematocrit and height. Children with ESRD scored lower on the 6MWT than healthy children. Based on these results, the 6MWT may be a useful instrument for monitoring clinical status in children with ESRD, however it cannot substitute for other fitness tests, such as a progressive exercise test to measure V O(2peak) or muscle strength tests.

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