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J Bras Pneumol. 2011 Jan-Feb;37(1):110-7.

Six-minute walk test: a valuable tool for assessing pulmonary impairment.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, Mexico City, Mexico.


Over the last few years, the use of exercise tests has come to be recognized as a convenient method of evaluating respiratory function, because the reserves of the various systems in the human body should be known in order to provide a more complete portrayal of the functional capacities of the patient. Because walking is one of the main activities of daily living, walk tests have been proposed in order to measure the state or the functional capacity of patients. The six-minute walk test has proven to be reproducible and is well tolerated by patients. It evaluates the distance a person can walk on a flat, rigid surface in six minutes. Its main objective is to determine exercise tolerance and oxygen saturation during submaximal exercise. In this review, we present various clinical areas in which the test can provide useful data.

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