The effect of hyperoxia on survival following adult cardiac arrest: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Resuscitation. 2014 Sep;85(9):1142-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.05.021. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


Objective: Studies have shown the detrimental effect of hyperoxia in animals with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest. To maximize the value of existing clinical studies, we performed the systemic review and meta-analysis of human observational studies to examine the effect of hyperoxia on outcomes of post-ROSC patients.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Embase from the inception to October 2013. We selected adult observational studies that compared different levels of partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) in post-ROSC patients with mortality or neurological status at hospital discharge as outcome. Studies comparing hypoxia with normoxia only were excluded.

Results: Fourteen studies were identified from 2982 references. Odds ratio (OR) was used as effect estimate. OR was reconstructed if not provided in original articles. Hyperoxia was defined as a PaO2>300 mmHg. Meta-analysis indicated that hyperoxia appeared to be correlated with increased in-hospital mortality (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.02-1.93; I2, 69.27%; 8 studies) but not worsened neurological outcome (OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 0.87-3.02; I2, 55.61%; 2 studies). However, the results were inconsistent in subgroup and sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: Hyperoxia appears to be correlated with increased in-hospital mortality of post-ROSC patients. This result should be interpreted cautiously because of the significant heterogeneity and limited number of studies analyzed. However, because exposure to hyperoxia had no obvious benefits, clinicians should monitor PaO2 closely and titrate oxygen administration cautiously.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Critical care; Emergency medicine; Heart arrest; Hyperoxia; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Heart Arrest / complications*
  • Heart Arrest / mortality*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxia / complications*
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Survival Rate