Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 98 (2), 294-9

Oxygen for Relief of Dyspnoea in Mildly- Or Non-Hypoxaemic Patients With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Affiliations
Review

Oxygen for Relief of Dyspnoea in Mildly- Or Non-Hypoxaemic Patients With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

H E Uronis et al. Br J Cancer.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of palliative oxygen for relief of dyspnoea in cancer patients. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for randomised controlled trials, comparing oxygen and medical air in cancer patients not qualifying for home oxygen therapy. Abstracts were reviewed and studies were selected using Cochrane methodology. The included studies provided oxygen at rest or during a 6-min walk. The primary outcome was dyspnoea. Standardised mean differences (SMDs) were used to combine scores. Five studies were identified; one was excluded from meta-analysis due to data presentation. Individual patient data were obtained from the authors of the three of the four remaining studies (one each from England, Australia, and the United States). A total of 134 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Oxygen failed to improve dyspnoea in mildly- or non-hypoxaemic cancer patients (SMD=-0.09, 95% confidence interval -0.22 to 0.04; P=0.16). Results were stable to a sensitivity analysis, excluding studies requiring the use of imputed quantities. In this small meta-analysis, oxygen did not provide symptomatic benefit for cancer patients with refractory dyspnoea, who would not normally qualify for home oxygen therapy. Further study of the use of oxygen in this population is warranted given its widespread use.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flowchart of articles reviewed for the systematic analysis of the benefit of palliative oxygen for the relief of dyspnoea in people with cancer who do not qualify for long-term domiciliary oxygen therapy.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Estimation of efficacy of oxygen in the treatment of dyspnoea in cancer patients who do not qualify for long-term domiciliary oxygen therapy.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Sensitivity analysis of blinded, randomised controlled trials exploring the symptomatic benefit of oxygen therapy in reducing refractory dyspnoea in a palliative population which does not qualify for domiciliary oxygen – no studies requiring use of imputed quantities.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 29 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Abernethy AP, Currow DC, Frith P, Fazekas B. Prescribing palliative oxygen: a clinician survey of expected benefit and patterns of use. Palliat Med. 2005;19:168–170. - PubMed
    1. Abernethy AP, Currow DC, Frith P, Fazekas BS, McHugh A, Bui C. Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial of sustained release morphine for the management of refractory dyspnoea. BMJ. 2003;327:523–528. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Ahmedzai S. Palliation of respiratory symptoms Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine 1998Oxford: Oxford University Press; 583–616.Doyle D, Hanks G, MacDonald N (eds) pp
    1. Ahmedzai SH, Laude E, Robertson A, Troy G, Vora V. A double-blind, randomised, controlled phase II trial of Heliox28 gas mixture in lung cancer patients with dyspnoea on exertion. Br J Cancer. 2004;90:366–371. - PMC - PubMed
    1. ATS Dyspnoea. Mechanisms, assessment, and management: a consensus statement. American Thoracic Society. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999;159:321–340. - PubMed
Feedback