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Six-Minute Walking Versus Shuttle Walking: Responsiveness to Bronchodilation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  1. Véronique Pepin (veronique.pepin{at}
  1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
    1. Julie Brodeur
    1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
      1. Yves Lacasse (yves.lacasse{at}
      1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
        1. Julie Milot (julie.milot{at}
        1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
          1. Pierre LeBlanc (pierre.leblanc{at}
          1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
            1. François Whittom
            1. Hôpital Laval, Canada
              1. François Maltais (francois.maltais{at}
              1. Hôpital Laval, Canada


                Rationale: The responsiveness of the endurance shuttle walk to functional changes following bronchodilation was recently demonstrated, while the current literature suggests that the six-minute walking test is less responsive in that setting.

                Objective: To compare bronchodilator-induced changes in exercise performance between the 6-minute walking test and the endurance shuttle walk.

                Methods: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo- controlled and crossover trial, 14 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (FEV1: 50 (8)% predicted) completed two 6-minute walking tests and two endurance shuttle walks, each preceded by the nebulization of either a placebo or 500 μg of ipratropium bromide. Cardiorespiratory parameters were monitored during each walking test with a portable telemetric gas analyser. Quadriceps twitch force was measured with magnetic stimulation of the femoral nerve before and after each walking test.

                Results: Six-minute walking distance did not change significantly following bronchodilation despite a significant increase in FEV1 (0.18 (0.09)L, p < 0.001). A similar change in FEV1 (0.18 (0.12)L, p < 0.001) was associated with a significant improvement in the distance walked on the endurance shuttle walk (Δdistance ipratropium bromide-placebo: 144 (219) meters, p = 0.03). Quadriceps muscle fatigue was infrequent (< 15% of patients) after both walking tests.

                Conclusion: The endurance shuttle walk is more responsive than the 6-minute walking test to detect changes in exercise performance following bronchodilation.

                • COPD
                • bronchodilation
                • exercise test
                • shuttle walk
                • six-minute walk

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