Six-minute walk test found useful in predicting cardiopulmonary complications after thoracic cancer surgery

 

The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) is the most commonly used test for the functional exercise evaluation of patients with chronic lung disease because of its simple and easy procedure. However, its usefulness for lung cancer patients who are planning to undergo lung lobectomy is not known.

 

In addressing this gap, a Samsung Medical Center (SMC) research team analyzed the data of 416 lung cancer patients who underwent a lung lobectomy and performed a 6 min walk test.

 

The study’s results revealed that cardiopulmonary complications increased significantly in non–small cell lung cancer patients planning to undergo lung lobectomy when they had a low predictive value of postoperative pulmonary function and failed to walk 400 m in the 6MWT. On the other hand, patients who had a low predictive value of postoperative pulmonary function but walked 400 m in the walk test did not show significantly increased cardiopulmonary complications compared to patients who had a high predictive value of postoperative pulmonary function and walked more than 400 m in the test. Therefore, the team suggested that even if the predictive value of postoperative pulmonary function is low, a patient may be able to receive surgical treatment if cardiopulmonary function is stable.

 

This study was published in the latest issue of CHEST (IF 9.657).