Guidelines Needed for 6-Minute Walk Test in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

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Although no specific guidelines exist for the 6-minute walk test in IPF, it has been used in clinical practice.
Although no specific guidelines exist for the 6-minute walk test in IPF, it has been used in clinical practice.

HealthDay News — The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) is increasingly being used for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and guidelines are needed for its implementation in this population, according to a report published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Noting that the 6MWT is a commonly used assessment of performance ability in a variety of cardiopulmonary diseases, A. Whitney Brown, MD, and Steven D. Nathan, MD, from Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, address its use in IPF.

The authors noted that there are no specific guidelines for use of the 6MWT in the growing population of patients with IPF, although it has been used in clinical practice and research trials of IPF. Development of nuanced standards designed specifically for IPF are needed given that there is increasing evidence and experience with its use in clinical trials.

"Further research into the role of the 6MWT, refinements in its implementation, and the development of standardized guidelines for its use in IPF are therefore strongly encouraged," the authors wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Reference

Brown AW, Nathan SD. The value and application of the six minute walk test in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [published online September 21, 2017]. Ann Am Thor Soc. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201703-244FR

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