Document Detail

Effect of natural oxygen enrichment at low altitude on oxygen-dependent patients with end-stage lung disease.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7944074     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of lowering altitude to that of the lowest place on earth (Dead Sea) on arterial oxygenation and exercise performance in patients with hypoxemia and end-stage lung disease. DESIGN: A cohort of 10 patients. SETTING: Pulmonary function laboratories in Jerusalem, Israel, and at the Dead Sea. PATIENTS: 10 patients with end-stage lung disease who were receiving long-term oxygen therapy. The 4 males and 6 females were 12 to 77 years old. Four patients had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; 2 had cystic fibrosis; 3 had pulmonary fibrosis; and 1 had pulmonary hypertension (thromboembolic). Mean forced vital capacity was 1.54 L (54% of predicted value) and mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 0.85 L (35% of predicted value). MEASUREMENTS: Spirometry, blood gas analysis, progressive exercise testing, and sleep oximetry were done in Jerusalem (altitude, 800 m above sea level; barometric pressure, 696 mm Hg); the same measurements were done 6 days after arrival at the Dead Sea (altitude, 402 m below sea level; barometric pressure, 800 mm Hg) and then 7 to 14 days later in Jerusalem. RESULTS: Arterial oxygenation increased from a median partial pressure of arterial oxygen of 51.6 mm Hg in Jerusalem to 67.0 mm Hg at the Dead Sea, an increase of 15.2 mm Hg (95% CI of paired difference, 4.1 to 20.4 mm Hg; P = 0.001). Partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide increased from a median of 43.2 to 45.9 mm Hg, an increase of 2.7 mm Hg (CI, 0.5 to 6.4 mm Hg; P = 0.004), with a borderline significant change in the alveolar-arterial gradient. Arterial oxygen saturation increased from a median of 87.7% to 92.8%, a change of 4.8% (CI, 1.9% to 9.8%; P = 0.003). Exercise performance also improved as maximum oxygen uptake increased from a median of 827 mL/min to 1056 mL/min, an increase of 203 mL/min (CI, 54 to 388 mL/min; P = 0.006). Sleep oximetry also improved as median arterial oxygen saturation measured during sleep increased from 85% to 90%, a change of 5% (CI, 2% to 7%; P = 0.005), and percentage of sleep time with an oxygen saturation rate of 90% or more increased from a median of 24% to 73%, a change of 49% (CI, 20% to 87%; P = 0.02). No change in spirometry was noted. All patients felt less dyspneic and reported improved functional capacity with reduced need for oxygen. CONCLUSION: Descent to low altitude can improve arterial oxygenation, exercise performance, and sleep oximetry and consequently the quality of life in patients with hypoxemia and advanced lung disease.
M R Kramer; C Springer; N Berkman; E Bar-Yishay; A Avital; A Mandelberg; D Effron; S Godfrey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of internal medicine     Volume:  121     ISSN:  0003-4819     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Intern. Med.     Publication Date:  1994 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-10-31     Completed Date:  1994-10-31     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372351     Medline TA:  Ann Intern Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  658-62     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Institute of Pulmonology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Anoxia / therapy
Atmospheric Pressure
Blood Gas Analysis
Cohort Studies
Exercise / physiology
Lung Diseases / physiopathology,  therapy*
Middle Aged
Oxygen / blood
Oxygen Inhalation Therapy*
Respiratory Function Tests
Sleep / physiology
Treatment Outcome
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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