Study with a Portable Gas Analyzer of the 6-Minute Walk Test in Heart Failure with Normal Ejection Fraction

Abstract Background: Few studies have used portable gas analyzers during the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) in patients with heart failure and normal ejection fraction (HFNEF). Objectives: To analyze the kinetics of hemodynamic, ventilatory, and metabolic variables in patients with HFNEF during the T6m using a portable gas analyzer. Methods: Prospective, analytical study with an intentional, non-probabilistic, convenience sample. In total, 24 patients with HFNEF and past hospital admissions due to a clinical diagnosis of heart failure (HF) were included using the 2007 criteria established by the European Society of Cardiology. Three assessments were performed: 6MWT familiarization, 6MWT with the portable gas analyzer, and cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). Results: The heart rates (HRs) and the peak VO2 at the end of the 6MWT corresponded to 85.7% and 86.45% of the values obtained during the CPET. The final HRs after the T6m were equivalent to those obtained at the CPET anaerobic threshold (AT), with relative VO2 values at the end of the 6MWT above the VO2 of the CPET AT. There was no difference between the maximum respiratory quotient (RQ) values in these two tests, which were both above 1.0. The VE/VO2 slope descended initially and then ascended significantly after the fifth minute of the test, estimating the identification of the AT. Conclusions: In patients with HFNEF, the 6MWT represents an almost maximum effort, and is performed above the CPET AT and 85% above the maximum HR and the CPET peak VO2, with a maximum RQ similar to that in the CPET.