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Scientific letter: A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, 3-month crossover trial of night-time oxygen therapy in advanced systolic heart failure
  1. Joseph L Blackshear1,
  2. Robert Safford1,
  3. Paul Fredrickson2,
  4. Colleen Thomas3,
  5. Michael Heckman3,
  6. Malik Al-Omari1,
  7. Joseph Kaplan4
  1. 1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic Florida, Florida, USA
  2. 2Division of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic Florida, Florida, USA
  3. 3Section of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic Florida, Florida, USA
  4. 4Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Mayo Clinic Florida, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph L Blackshear, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic Florida, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA; blackshear.joseph{at}

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To the Editor: Three unblinded studies of night-time oxygen in patients with Cheyne Stokes Respirations and congestive heart failure (CSR-CHF) showing subjective improvements in exercise capacity, and New York Heart Association Classification versus parallel controls, and an increase in left ventricular ejection fraction of between 5% and 10%,1–3 were undertaken. On the basis of these studies, it was found that home oxygen therapy is in widespread use and is covered by national insurance in Japan, but is not sanctioned by international CHF guidelines. Respiratory-based therapies are subject to placebo effect, and oxygen is no exception.4 Amid concern regarding the inadequacy of the scientific basis for the prescription of night-time oxygen therapy, two additional trials in the UK (ISRCTN60260702) and Australia (ACTRN12609000103268) are in early enrolment. In discussing these ongoing studies, a tepid recommendation for the use of night-time oxygen was stated. …

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  • Funding Florida Affiliate of the American Heart Association Grant-in-aid (AHA 9501309) and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.