Domiciliary oxygen for interstitial lung disease

Oxygen therapy is used to treat patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) with low arterial blood oxygen levels. This review evaluated the effect of domiciliary long-term oxygen therapy on survival and quality of life in patients with ILD. Only one randomized controlled trial was identified. This unpublished study reported that long-term oxygen therapy did not improve survival compared with no oxygen therapy in patients with ILD. No data on quality of life was available.

Authors' conclusions: 

The assumption that home oxygen therapy has a beneficial survival effect in patients with ILD has not been demonstrated in the single RCT identified.

Read the full abstract...

Retrospective survival data have suggested poor effectiveness of oxygen therapy in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD).


To determine the effect of domiciliary oxygen therapy on survival and quality of life in patients with a diagnosis of ILD and hypoxaemia.

Search strategy: 

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) were identified from searches of the Airways Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE. Searches were current as of October 2010. No language restrictions were applied.

Selection criteria: 

Any randomized controlled trial (RCT) in adult patients with hypoxaemia and ILD that compared long term domiciliary or home oxygen therapy with a control group.

Data collection and analysis: 

Studies were assessed by two authors. Data were entered into Review Manager 5 and analysed.

Main results: 

Only one trial met the eligibility criteria of the review. Mortality for both the oxygen treated and control groups was approximately 91% after three years (Peto odds ratio 0.99, 95% confidence intervals 0.16 to 6.26). The effect of oxygen therapy on quality of life and physiological parameters was not reported.