BACKGROUND: The responsiveness of the endurance shuttle walk to functional changes following bronchodilation has recently been reported. The current literature suggests that the 6 min walking test (6MWT) is less responsive to bronchodilation than the endurance shuttle walk.
AIM: To compare bronchodilator-induced changes in exercise performance with the 6MWT and the endurance shuttle walk.
METHODS: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, 14 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) 50 (8)% predicted) completed two 6MWTs and two endurance shuttle walks, each preceded by nebulised placebo or 500 microg ipratropium bromide. Cardiorespiratory parameters were monitored during each walking test with a portable telemetric gas analyser. Quadriceps twitch force was measured by magnetic stimulation of the femoral nerve before and after each walking test.
RESULTS: The 6 min walking distance did not change significantly after bronchodilation despite a significant increase in FEV(1) of 0.18 (0.09) litres (p
CONCLUSION: The endurance shuttle walk is more responsive than the 6MWT for detecting changes in exercise performance following bronchodilation.
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