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Long-term effects of oxygen-enriched high-flow nasal cannula treatment in COPD patients with chronic hypoxemic respiratory failure

Authors Storgaard LH, Hockey H, Laursen BS, Weinreich UM

Received 12 December 2017

Accepted for publication 19 February 2018

Published 16 April 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1195—1205

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S159666

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Line Hust Storgaard,1 Hans-Ulrich Hockey,2 Birgitte Schantz Laursen,3,4 Ulla Møller Weinreich1,3

1Department of Respiratory Diseases, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; 2Biometrics Matters Limited, Hamilton, New Zealand; 3Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark; 4Clinical Nursing Research Unit, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark

Background: This study investigated the long-term effects of humidified high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) in COPD patients with chronic hypoxemic respiratory failure treated with long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT).
Patients and methods: A total of 200 patients were randomized into usual care ± HFNC. At inclusion, acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) and hospital admissions 1 year before inclusion, modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) score, St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2) were recorded. Patients completed phone interviews at 1, 3 and 9 months assessing mMRC score and AECOPD since the last contact. At on-site visits (6 and 12 months), mMRC, number of AECOPD since last contact and SGRQ were registered and FEV1, FEV1%, PaCO2 and, at 12 months, 6MWT were reassessed. Hospital admissions during the study period were obtained from hospital records. Hours of the use of HFNC were retrieved from the high-flow device.
Results: The average daily use of HFNC was 6 hours/day. The HFNC group had a lower AECOPD rate (3.12 versus 4.95/patient/year, p<0.001). Modeled hospital admission rates were 0.79 versus 1.39/patient/year for 12- versus 1-month use of HFNC, respectively (p<0.001). The HFNC group had improved mMRC scores from 3 months onward (p<0.001) and improved SGRQ at 6 and 12 months (p=0.002, p=0.033) and PaCO2 (p=0.005) and 6MWT (p=0.005) at 12 months. There was no difference in all-cause mortality.
Conclusion: HFNC treatment reduced AECOPD, hospital admissions and symptoms in COPD patients with hypoxic failure.

Keywords: COPD, high-flow heated and humidified oxygen, HFNC, exacerbation, AECOPD, modified Medical Research Council score, mMRC score, 6-minute walk test, 6MWT

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