Background: Cor pulmonale is a complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The use of the six minute walk test (6MWT) to discriminate between COPD patients with and without cor pulmonale remains unclear.
Objectives: To study whether the existence of cor pulmonale in COPD is related to characteristic findings in distance and desaturation in 6MWT.
Material and Methods: Patients with confirmed COPD who were referred to rehabilitation unit of Masih Daneshvari hospital were studied. Subjects were categorized into cor pulmonale and non cor pulmonale according to physical examination and echocardiography findings. Standard 6MWT was performed according to published statements. The covered distance and the amount of oxygen desaturation were recorded. Comparisons between the two groups were conducted in two-tailed using Mann-Whitney tests.
Result: A total of 101 patients were evaluated (78 male and 23 female). There were 49 cor pulmonale (48.5%) and 52 non cor pulmonale (51.5%) with a mean age of 59.98 ± 15.92 and 51.88 ± 19.04 (p>0.05), respectively. The mean of 6MWT distance in patients with and without cor pulmonale were 264.85 ± 114.1 meters and 344.13 ± 84.19 meters, respectively (p<0.05). Oxygen desaturation in cor pulmonale and non-cor pulmonale patients were 8.71 ± 6.41% and 7.90 ± 6.80%, respectively (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The distance covered by cor pulmonale subjects in 6MWT is significantly less than non cor pulmonale. However, despite the oxygen desaturation in both groups, there is no significant difference between two groups.
Atefeh Fakharian, Shahram Kharabian Masouleh, Tayebeh Farhadi