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Am Heart J. 2012 Feb;163(2):168-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2011.10.013. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

High-concentration versus titrated oxygen therapy in ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

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Capital & Coast District Health Board, Wellington, New Zealand.



The optimal approach to oxygen therapy in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is uncertain.


A randomized controlled trial was undertaken in which 136 patients presenting with their first STEMI uncomplicated by cardiogenic shock or marked hypoxia were randomized to receive high-concentration (6 L/min via medium concentration mask) or titrated oxygen (to achieve oxygen saturation 93%-96%) for 6 hours after presentation. The main outcome variables were 30-day mortality and infarct size assessed by troponin T level at 72 hours. Secondary outcomes included a meta-analysis of mortality data from this study and previous randomized controlled trials, and infarct size was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging at 4 to 6 weeks.


There were 1 of 68 and 2 of 68 deaths in the high-concentration and titrated oxygen groups, respectively; a meta-analysis including these data with those from the 2 previous studies showed an odds ratio for mortality of high-concentration oxygen compared with room air or titrated oxygen of 2.2 (95% CI 0.8-6.0). There was no significant difference between high-concentration versus titrated oxygen in troponin T (ratio of mean levels 0.74, 95% CI 0.50-1.1, P = .14), infarct mass (mean difference -0.8 g, 95% CI -7.6 to 6.1, P = .82), or percent infarct mass (mean difference -0.6%, 95% CI -5.6 to 4.5, P = .83).


This study found no evidence of benefit or harm from high-concentration compared with titrated oxygen in initially uncomplicated STEMI. However, our estimates have wide CIs, and as a result, large randomized controlled trials are required to resolve the clinical uncertainty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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