Calc Function

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    • Subcategory of 'Diagnosis' designed to be very sensitiveRule Out
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    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    6 Minute Walk Distance

    Calculates reference values for distance walked, as a measure of functional status.


    Do not use if unstable angina or MI less than 1 month prior. Relative contraindications: resting HR over 120, systolic BP over 180, or diastolic BP over 100. Stop if any of the following occur: chest pain, intolerable dyspnea, leg cramps, staggering, diaphoresis, or pale appearance.

    Why Use
    • Original cohort did not include patients <40 or >80 years old and non-Caucasian patients.
    • Widely used across specialities dealing with geriatrics and/or chronic disease.
    • Intended to be carried out along a flat straight walking course 30 m (100 ft) long, with brightly colored tape marking the starting line (as well as every 60 m lap). Use of a treadmill is not recommended. More detailed instructions are available in the American Thoracic Society guidelines.
    • Known to be less accurate in shorter patients, who have shorter strides.
    • Primarily used to assess response to interventions in patients with moderate to severe heart or lung disease (American Thoracic Society guidelines).
    • Can be used to measure functional status in patients who are elderly, frail, and/or otherwise unable to tolerate treadmill exercise tests.
    • Commonly used in patients with COPD, heart failure, arthritis, and neuromuscular disorders.


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    Next Steps
    Creator Insights
    Dr. Paul L. Enright

    About the Creator

    Paul L. Enright, MD, is a retired research professor of medicine from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He reviews manuscripts for several pulmonary journals. Dr. Enright’s interests include pulmonary function testing, occupational lung disease, and diagnostic techniques for asthma and COPD.

    To view Dr. Paul L. Enright's publications, visit PubMed

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    MDCalc loves calculator creators – researchers who, through intelligent and often complex methods, discover tools that describe scientific facts that can then be applied in practice. These are real scientific discoveries about the nature of the human body, which can be invaluable to physicians taking care of patients.
    About the Creator
    Dr. Paul L. Enright
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