Association of six-minute walk test distance with postoperative complications in non-cardiac surgery: a secondary analysis of a multicentre prospective cohort study

Ryan J. Ramos, Karim S. Ladha, Brian H. Cuthbertson, Mark A. Shulman, Paul S. Myles, Duminda N. Wijeysundera, on behalf of the METS study investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

© 2021, The Author(s). Purpose: The six-minute walk test (6MWT) is a simple and valid test for assessing cardiopulmonary fitness. Nevertheless, the relationship between preoperative 6MWT distance and postoperative complications is uncertain. We conducted a secondary analysis of the 6MWT nested cohort substudy of the Measurement of Exercise Tolerance before Surgery study to determine if 6MWT distance predicts postoperative complications or death. Methods: This analysis included 545 adults (≥ 40 yr) who were at elevated cardiac risk and had elective inpatient non-cardiac surgery at 15 hospitals in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Each participant performed a preoperative 6MWT and was followed for 30 days after surgery. The primary outcome was moderate or severe in-hospital complications. The secondary outcome was 30-day death or myocardial injury. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to characterize the adjusted association of 6MWT distance with these outcomes. Results: Seven participants (1%) terminated their 6MWT sessions early because of lower limb pain, dyspnea, or dizziness. Eighty-one (15%) participants experienced moderate or severe complications and 69 (13%) experienced 30-day myocardial injury or death. Decreased 6MWT distance was associated with increased odds of moderate or severe complications (adjusted odds ratio, 1.32 per 100 m decrease; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.73; P = 0.045). There was no association of 6MWT distance with myocardial injury or 30-day death (non-linear association; P = 0.49). Conclusion: Preoperative 6MWT distance had a modest association with moderate or severe complications after inpatient non-cardiac surgery. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal role of the 6MWT as an objective exercise test for informing preoperative risk stratification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-529
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Anesthesia
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • 6-minute walk test
  • functional capacity
  • postoperative complications
  • preoperative risk assessment

Cite this