Prognostic value of 6-min walk test compared to cardiopulmonary exercise test in patients with severe heart failure.

Corrà U; Giordano A; Marcassa C; Gambarin FI; Gnemmi M; Pistono M;

Journal of cardiovascular medicine (Hagerstown, Md.) [J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown)] 2022 Jun 01; Vol. 23 (6),
pp. 379-386.

Aims: The 6-min walk test (6MWT) and cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) are both predictive in heart failure (HFrEF). Although 6MWT substitutes for CPET in HFrEF patients, as submaximal testing may be preferable, its prognostic superiority still needs to be verified, particularly in regard to beta blockers (BBs). We aimed to compare the prognostic role of CPET and 6MWT and investigate whether BB therapy influences the predictive value.
Methods: This is a single-center, retrospective study. Advanced HFrEF patients were followed up for 3 years: events were cardiovascular death or urgent heart transplantation. We analyzed the predictive capacity of CPET and 6MWT in patients, and subdivided according to use of BBs.
Results: In a group of 251 HFrEF patients, we found a correlation between meters and peak VO2 (r2 = 0.94). Over the 3-year follow-up, 74 events were recorded. Both CPET and 6MWT variables were correlated with outcome at univariate analysis (meter and VE/VCO2 slope, peak VO2, VO2 at ventilatory anaerobic threshold, percentage predicted of peak VO2), but only percentage predicted of peak VO2 (pppVO2) was an independent predictor. In 103 HFrEF patients on BBs (23 nonsurvivors), neither pppVO2 nor meter were predictive, while in 148 patients not treated with BB (51 with events) pppVO2 was selected as an independent prognostic parameter (P = 0.001).
Conclusions: 6MWT is a valid alternative to CPET, although the percentage of predicted of peak VO2 emerged as the strongest predictor. Nonetheless, our results suggest that both functional derived parameters are not predictive among those patients treated with BBs. Further studies are necessary to confirm these findings.