JOURNAL ARTICLE

Oxygen desaturation during the six-minute walk test in COPD patients

Maria Ângela Fontoura Moreira, Gabriel Arriola de Medeiros, Francesco Pinto Boeno, Paulo Roberto Stefani Sanches, Danton Pereira da Silva Júnior, André Frotta Müller
Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia: Publicaça̋o Oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisilogia 2014, 40 (3): 222-8
25029644

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the behavior of oxygen saturation curves throughout the six-minute walk test (6MWT) in patients with COPD.

METHODS: We included 85 patients, all of whom underwent spirometry and were classified as having moderate COPD (modCOPD, n = 30) or severe COPD (sevCOPD, n = 55). All of the patients performed a 6MWT, in a 27-m corridor with continuous SpO2 and HR monitoring by telemetry. We studied the SpO2 curves in order to determine the time to a 4% decrease in SpO2, the time to the minimum SpO2 (Tmin), and the post-6MWT time to return to the initial SpO2, the last designated recovery time (RT). For each of those curves, we calculated the slope.

RESULTS: The mean age in the modCOPD and sevCOPD groups was 66 ± 10 years and 62 ± 11 years, respectively. At baseline, SpO2 was > 94% in all of the patients; none received supplemental oxygen during the 6MWT; and none of the tests were interrupted. The six-minute walk distance did not differ significantly between the groups. The SpO2 values were lowest in the sevCOPD group. There was no difference between the groups regarding RT. In 71% and 63% of the sevCOPD and modCOPD group patients, respectively, a ≥ 4% decrease in SpO2 occurred within the first minute. We found that FEV1% correlated significantly with the ΔSpO2 (r = -0.398; p < 0.001), Tmin (r = -0.449; p < 0.001), and minimum SpO2 (r = 0.356; p < 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: In the sevCOPD group, in comparison with the modCOPD group, SpO2 was lower and the Tmin was greater, suggesting a worse prognosis in the former.

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