The assisted 6-minute cycling test to assess endurance in children with a neuromuscular disorder

Merel Jansen, Moniek De Jong, Hanna M Coes, Florieke Eggermont, Nens Van Alfen, Imelda J M De Groot
Muscle & Nerve 2012, 46 (4): 520-30

INTRODUCTION: For late- or non-ambulant children with a neuromuscular disorder no suitable endurance tests are currently available. We developed the assisted 6-minute cycling test (A6MCT) for the legs and arms and investigated its psychometric properties in healthy boys and boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

METHODS: Ninety-nine healthy boys and 30 boys with DMD (12 wheelchair-dependent) performed the A6MCT. Seventy healthy boys also performed the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and 23 boys performed the A6MCT twice within 2 weeks. Boys with DMD also performed the Motor Function Measure (MFM).

RESULTS: The A6MCT was feasible for >90% of all boys. Boys with DMD achieved fewer cycling revolutions than controls. The A6MCT was positively correlated with the 6MWT and was reproducible in healthy boys, and it correlated with disease severity in boys with DMD.

CONCLUSIONS: The A6MCT is a promising outcome measure for the follow-up of non-ambulant children with a neuromuscular disorder.

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