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      Lung transplantation and survival outcomes in patients with oxygen-dependent COPD with regard to their alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency status

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          Individuals with severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) have an increased risk of developing COPD. However, outcomes during long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) in patients with severe AATD and hypoxemia are unknown.

          Patients and methods

          This was a prospective, population-based, consecutive cohort study of patients on LTOT due to COPD in the period from January 1, 1987, to June 30, 2015, in the Swedish National Registry for Respiratory Failure (Swedevox). Severe AATD was identified using the Swedish AATD registry and confirmed by isoelectric focusing. Data on lung transplantation (LTx) were obtained from the two lung transplantation centers in Sweden. Mortality and causes of death were assessed based on the National Causes of Death Registry and analyzed using multivariable Cox regression.


          A total of 14,644 patients who started LTOT due to COPD were included in this study. No patient was lost to follow up. Patients with AATD were younger, included more males and more never smokers, and had fewer comorbidities. During a median follow-up of 1.6 years (interquartile range [IQR], 2.7) on LTOT, patients without severe AATD had a higher mortality, hazard ratio [HR] 1.53 (95% CI, 1.24–1.88), adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, body mass index, performance status, level of hypoxemia, and comorbidities. Cardiovascular deaths were increased. A higher proportion of AATD patients underwent LTx, 53 (19%) vs 118 (1%). Survival after LTx was similar for AATD and non-AATD patients and was predicted by age.


          In oxygen-dependent COPD, patients with severe AATD have a longer survival time on LTOT, but they have a similar prognosis after lung transplantation compared with patients without AATD.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Continuous or nocturnal oxygen therapy in hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease: a clinical trial. Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy Trial Group.

          At six centers, 203 patients with hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease were randomly allocated to either continuous oxygen (O2) therapy or 12-hour nocturnal O2 therapy and followed for at least 12 months (mean, 19.3 months). The two groups were initially well matched in terms of physiological and neuropsychological function. Compliance with each oxygen regimen was good. Overall mortality in the nocturnal O2 therapy group was 1.94 times that in the continuous O2 therapy group (P = 0.01). This trend was striking in patients with carbon dioxide retention and also present in patients with relatively poor lung function, low mean nocturnal oxygen saturation, more severe brain dysfunction, and prominent mood disturbances. Continuous O2 therapy also appeared to benefit patients with low mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance and those with relatively well-preserved exercise capacity. We conclude that in hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease, continuous O2 therapy is associated with a lower mortality than is nocturnal O2 therapy. The reason for this difference is not clear.
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              British Thoracic Society guidelines for home oxygen use in adults.

              The British Thoracic Society (BTS) Home Oxygen Guideline provides detailed evidence-based guidance for the use of home oxygen for patients out of hospital. Although the majority of evidence comes from the use of oxygen in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the scope of the guidance includes patients with a variety of long-term respiratory illnesses and other groups in whom oxygen is currently ordered, such as those with cardiac failure, cancer and end-stage cardiorespiratory disease, terminal illness or cluster headache. It explores the evidence base for the use of different modalities of oxygen therapy and patient-related outcomes such as mortality, symptoms and quality of life. The guideline also makes recommendations for assessment and follow-up protocols, and risk assessments, particularly in the clinically challenging area of home oxygen users who smoke. The guideline development group is aware of the potential for confusion sometimes caused by the current nomenclature for different types of home oxygen, and rather than renaming them, has adopted the approach of clarifying those definitions, and in particular emphasising what is meant by long-term oxygen therapy and palliative oxygen therapy. The home oxygen guideline provides expert consensus opinion in areas where clinical evidence is lacking, and seeks to deliver improved prescribing practice, leading to improved compliance and improved patient outcomes, with consequent increased value to the health service.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                07 November 2017
                : 12
                : 3281-3287
                Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hanan Tanash, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Skåne University Hospital, Jan Waldenströms gata 24, S-205 02 Malmö, Sweden, Email hanan.tanash@
                © 2017 Ekström and Tanash. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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