Pulmonary Stress Test Including 6 Minute Walk Test

The six minute walk is a simple useful test that is performed frequently during screening (looking for signs of PH) and treatment of pulmonary hypertension patients. It is often performed at the first visit to get a baseline of how far the patient can walk. Then, after diagnosis is made via right heart catheterization and treatment is initiated, the test is repeated at follow up visits. The follow up six minute walks allow the physician to see if improvement is being made in exercise capacity. If improvement isn’t being made and the patient cannot walk any farther than prior to treatment, adjustments, such as increasing a dose of medication or adding new medications may be made. The follow up six minute walks are extremely useful as improvement and of course worsening of symptoms may be minor changes every day that the patient does not recognize but can be seen in the snap shot a six minute walk test provides.