Unifying Concepts

Modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) Dyspnea Scale

The modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale is recommended for conducting assessments of dyspnea and disability and functions as an indicator of exacerbation.

The modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale

Grade Description of Breathlessness
Grade 0 I only get breathless with strenuous exercise
Grade 1 I get short of breath when hurrying on level ground or walking up a slight hill
Grade 2 On level ground, I walk slower than people of the same age because of breathlessness, or I have to stop for breath when walking at my own pace on the level
Grade 3 I stop for breath after walking about 100 yards or after a few minutes on level ground
Grade 4 I am too breathless to leave the house or I am breathless when dressing

An mMRC scale grade of 3 have a significantly poorer prognosis and that the mMRC scale can be used to predict hospitalization and exacerbation.



  1. Natori H, Kawayama T, Suetomo M, Kinoshita T, Matsuoka M, Matsunaga K, Okamoto M, Hoshino T. Evaluation of the Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale for Predicting Hospitalization and Exacerbation in Japanese Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Intern Med. 2016;55(1):15-24. [Medline]
  2. Launois C, Barbe C, Bertin E, Nardi J, Perotin JM, Dury S, Lebargy F, Deslee G. The modified Medical Research Council scale for the assessment of dyspnea in daily living in obesity: a pilot study. BMC Pulm Med. 2012 Oct 1;12:61. [Medline]


Created Feb 10, 2021.

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