open access

Vol 81, No 3 (2013)
REVIEWS
Submitted: 2013-04-19
Accepted: 2013-04-19
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Benefits of oxygen on exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases

Jacek Nasiłowski
Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2013;81(3):259-266.

open access

Vol 81, No 3 (2013)
REVIEWS
Submitted: 2013-04-19
Accepted: 2013-04-19

Abstract

Chronic respiratory diseases limit exercise capacity, due to breathlessness and hypoxemia. A decrease in daily activity results in impairment of quality of life and higher mortality. Oxygen therapy improves exercise capacity. The main mechanism of this improvement in COPD patients is a reduction in dynamic hyperinflation. The benefits of oxygen therapy is present not only in patients with severe hypoxemia at rest (PaO2 < 60 mm Hg) requiring long-term oxygen therapy, but also in mild hypoxemic patients who develop desaturation during exercise. An improvement in exercise tolerance is proportional to the administered oxygen flow. Provision of oxygen flow from ambulatory source may be continuous or intermittent only during inspiration. Both methods seem to be comparable in terms of improving exercise tolerance and reducing hypoxemia. Ambulatory oxygen should be prescribed to all patients on long-term oxygen therapy who report outdoor activity. Moreover, normoxemic patients with severe exertional desaturation and low exercise tolerance should also be prescribed ambulatory oxygen. The flow of oxygen should be titrated to prevent desaturation during activities. The long-term effects of ambulatory oxygen such as improvement of quality of life and increasing daily activity have not been confirmed and require further investigation.

Abstract

Chronic respiratory diseases limit exercise capacity, due to breathlessness and hypoxemia. A decrease in daily activity results in impairment of quality of life and higher mortality. Oxygen therapy improves exercise capacity. The main mechanism of this improvement in COPD patients is a reduction in dynamic hyperinflation. The benefits of oxygen therapy is present not only in patients with severe hypoxemia at rest (PaO2 < 60 mm Hg) requiring long-term oxygen therapy, but also in mild hypoxemic patients who develop desaturation during exercise. An improvement in exercise tolerance is proportional to the administered oxygen flow. Provision of oxygen flow from ambulatory source may be continuous or intermittent only during inspiration. Both methods seem to be comparable in terms of improving exercise tolerance and reducing hypoxemia. Ambulatory oxygen should be prescribed to all patients on long-term oxygen therapy who report outdoor activity. Moreover, normoxemic patients with severe exertional desaturation and low exercise tolerance should also be prescribed ambulatory oxygen. The flow of oxygen should be titrated to prevent desaturation during activities. The long-term effects of ambulatory oxygen such as improvement of quality of life and increasing daily activity have not been confirmed and require further investigation.

Get Citation

Keywords

oxygen therapy, exercise, respiratory failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ambulatory oxygen

About this article
Title

Benefits of oxygen on exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases

Journal

Advances in Respiratory Medicine

Issue

Vol 81, No 3 (2013)

Pages

259-266

Bibliographic record

Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2013;81(3):259-266.

Keywords

oxygen therapy
exercise
respiratory failure
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
ambulatory oxygen

Authors

Jacek Nasiłowski

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