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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Oxygen may reduce dyspnoea in people with COPD who have mild or no hypoxaemia
  1. James K Stoller
  1. Cleveland Clinic, Education Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to James K Stoller
    Cleveland Clinic, Education Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, NA22 Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; stollej{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrlPubMed


Although supplemental oxygen (SupplO2) has been shown to prolong survival in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with severe hypoxaemia (ie, PaO2<55 mm Hg or PaO2 55–59 mm Hg with cor pulmonale or polycythaemia), benefits in non-hypoxaemic COPD patients are less clear. Prescribing SupplO2 for such patients is highly variable, and it is common and very costly. As such, there is a strong rationale to clarify the indications.1 This meta-analysis evaluates the evidence regarding the benefits of SupplO2 to relieve dyspnoea and enhance exercise performance and quality of life (QOL) in COPD patients whose baseline resting oxygenation is not substantially impaired.


The article follows the standard Cochrane review approach, that is, considers all (and only) randomised controlled trials, irrespective of blinding (ie, of inhaling oxygen vs medical air) in this case; specifies the intervention (ie, oxygen or medical air as …

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  • Competing interests None.