Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) or distal chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) were able to increase 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and improve physical status on domiciliary oxygen therapy, according to the results of a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

This double-blind cross-over protocol evaluated 6MWD and the physical functioning scale of the Short Form Medical Outcome Questionnaire-36 in patients with PAH or distal CTEPH with exercise-induced hypoxemia. Measurements were taken at baseline and following random assignment to 1 of 2 groups: domiciliary oxygen therapy or ambient air placebo. There was a 2-week washout between treatments. Results from domiciliary oxygen therapy and ambient air placebo therapy were compared between groups.

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Of the 30 patients who were randomly assigned and represented the intention-to-treat population, 2 patients withdrew consent after randomization. The per-protocol analysis included 28 patients who completed the entire protocol. From baseline, domiciliary oxygen therapy increased 6MWD an average of 19 meters vs 1 meter in the placebo group. Changes in the physical functioning scale were 4 points and -2 points for the treatment and placebo groups, respectively. Between-treatment differences in changes were 6MWD 18 meters (1-35 m; P =.042) and 6 points in the physical functioning scale of Short Form Medical Outcome Questionnaire-36 (95% CI, 1-11; P =.029).

“This first randomized trial in PAH/CTEPH patients with exercise-induced hypoxemia demonstrates that [domiciliary oxygen therapy] improves exercise capacity, quality of life and functional class,” the authors wrote. “The results support large long-term randomized trial[s] of domiciliary oxygen therapy in PAH/CTPEH.”

Reference

Ulrich S, Saxer S, Hasler ED, et al. Effect of domiciliary oxygen therapy on exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with pulmonary arterial or chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial [published online May 9, 2019]. Eur Respir J. doi:10.1183/13993003.002762019