Oxygen therapy in normoxic acute coronary syndrome patients is controversial, and a previous systematic review cautioned against it in uncomplicated MI. A volunteer study using cardiac imaging demonstrates the effects of supplemental oxygen on coronary blood flow.
OBJECTIVES: Oxygen (O2) is a cornerstone in the treatment of critically ill patients, and the guidelines prescribe 10-15 l of O2/min even to those who are initially normoxic. Studies using indirect or invasive methods suggest, however, that supplemental O2 may have negative cardiovascular effects. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis, using noninvasive cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, that inhaled supplemental O2 decreases cardiac output (CO) and coronary blood flow in healthy individuals.
METHODS: Sixteen healthy individuals inhaled O2 at 1, 8 and 15 l/min through a standard reservoir bag mask. A 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner was used to measure stroke volume, CO and coronary sinus blood flow. Left ventricular (LV) perfusion was calculated as coronary sinus blood flow/LV mass.
RESULTS: The O2 response was dose-dependent. At 15 l of O2/min, blood partial pressure of O2 increased from an average 11.7 to 51.0 kPa with no significant changes in blood partial pressure of CO2 or arterial blood pressure. At the same dose, LV perfusion decreased by 23% (P=0.005) and CO decreased by 10% (P=0.003) owing to a decrease in heart rate (by 9%, P<0.002), with no significant changes in stroke volume or LV dimensions. Owing to the decreased CO and LV perfusion, systemic and coronary O2 delivery fell by 4 and 11% at 8 l of O2/min, despite the increased blood oxygen content.
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that O2 administration decreases CO, LV perfusion and systemic and coronary O2 delivery in healthy individuals. Further research should address the effects of O2 therapy in normoxic patients.
Effects of oxygen inhalation on cardiac output, coronary blood flow and oxygen delivery in healthy individuals, assessed with MRI
European Journal of Emergency Medicine 2011, 18:25–30