Background: The use of 6-minute walk test (6MWT) for assessing the functional status capacity of patients with chronic heart failure is commonly applied as prognostic gauges for systolic HF patients. The aim of study was to verify the impact of 6 minutes walk distance (6MWD) in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and to analyze the relation between clinical and echocardiographic data and the 6MWT in patients with chronic systolic heart failure.
Methodes and Results: 814 patients (age 63years, 68% males) with CHF underwent a six-minute walk test in a therapeutic unit of heart failure. Clinical data, biological and echocardiographic parametres were campared. We divided patients for 3 groups: group 1: 6MWD <300 m (n = 740), group 2: 300<6MWD<450 m (n = 54) and group 3: 6MWD > 450m (n = 20). 154 patients (19%) were in NYHA functionnal class III: 96% (n = 148) patients in group 1, 3%(n = 5) in group2 and 1% (n = 1) in group 3 (p = 0.04). Age, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, Ischemic heart disease, strock attack did not differ among the groups. However male sex, diastolic dysfunction (p = 0.01), right ventricular systolic dysfunction (p < 0.0001), hospitaliszation rate for cardiac decompensation (p < 0.0001), high heart rate were higher in the group with 6MWF <300 m.
Conclusion: In systolic heart failure outpatients, lower functional capacity during six minute walk is associated with more hospitalizations for cardiac decompensation, more diastolic dysfunction and right ventricular systolic dysfunction with goog correlation with NYHA functionnal class.