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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 483162, 6 pages
Research Article

Six-Minute Walking Distance Improvement after Pulmonary Rehabilitation Is Associated with Baseline Lung Function in Complex COPD Patients: A Retrospective Study

1Division of Pneumology, IRCCS Rehabilitation Institute of Tradate, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, via Roncaccio 16, 21049 Tradate, Italy
2Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Insubria, via Ravasi 2, 21100 Varese, Italy
3Respiratory Disease and Lung Function Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Parma, Padiglione Rasori, via Rasori 10, 43125 Parma, Italy

Received 26 September 2013; Revised 27 November 2013; Accepted 27 November 2013

Academic Editor: Enrico M. Clini

Copyright © 2013 Andrea Zanini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Conflicting results have been so far reported about baseline lung function, as predicting factor of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) efficacy. Aim. To ascertain whether or not baseline lung function could predict a benefit in terms of a significant change in 6-min walk test (6MWT) after PR. Methods. Seventy-five stable moderate-to-severe COPD inpatients with comorbidities (complex COPD), allocated to a three-week PR program, were retrospectively evaluated. Pulmonary function, 6MWT, dyspnea (BDI/TDI), and quality of life (EQ-VAS) were assessed before and after PR program. The patients were divided into two groups depending on the change in 6MWT (responders 30 m and nonresponders 30 m). Logistic regression analysis was used. Results. After PR, 6MWT performance all outcome measures significantly improved ( ). Compared to nonresponders ( ), the responders ( ) had lower values in baseline lung function ( ). Logistic regression analysis showed that FEV1     50% pred and TL, CO   50% pred were independent predictors of PR efficacy. Conclusions. Our study shows that in stable moderate-to-severe complex COPD inpatients, baseline lung function may predict the response to PR in terms of 6MWT. We also found that complex COPD patients with poor lung function get more benefit from PR.