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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e59274. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059274. Print 2014.

The stroke oxygen pilot study: a randomized controlled trial of the effects of routine oxygen supplementation early after acute stroke--effect on key outcomes at six months.

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  • 1Academic Department of Geriatrics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, United Kingdom.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Post-stroke hypoxia is common, and may adversely affect outcome. We have recently shown that oxygen supplementation may improve early neurological recovery. Here, we report the six-month outcomes of this pilot study.

METHODS:

Patients with a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke were randomized within 24 h of admission to oxygen supplementation at 2 or 3 L/min for 72 h or to control treatment (room air). Outcomes (see below) were assessed by postal questionnaire at 6 months. Analysis was by intention-to-treat, and statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.

RESULTS:

Out of 301 patients randomized two refused/withdrew consent and 289 (148 in the oxygen and 141 in the control group) were included in the analysis: males 44%, 51%; mean (SD) age 73 (12), 71 (12); median (IQR) National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 6 (3, 10), 5 (3, 10) for the two groups respectively. At six months 22 (15%) patients in the oxygen group and 20 (14%) in the control group had died; mean survival in both groups was 162 days (p = 0.99). Median (IQR) scores for the primary outcome, the modified Rankin Scale, were 3 (1, 5) and 3 (1, 4) for the oxygen and control groups respectively. The covariate-adjusted odds ratio was 1.04 (95% CI 0.67, 1.60), indicating that the odds of a lower (i.e. better) score were non-significantly higher in the oxygen group (p = 0.86). The mean differences in the ability to perform basic (Barthel Index) and extended activities of daily living (NEADL), and quality of life (EuroQol) were also non-significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

None of the key outcomes differed at 6 months between the groups. Although not statistically significant and generally of small magnitude, the effects were predominantly in favour of the oxygen group; a larger trial, powered to show differences in longer-term functional outcomes, is now on-going.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN12362720; Eudract.ema.europa.eu 2004-001866-41.

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