What is the role of oxygen administration in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020
  • Author: Vittorio Rinaldi, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Because some of the effects of SDB are due to hypoxia during sleep, the administration of oxygen would seem like a reasonable treatment. Although oxygen administration improves the lowest blood-oxygen saturation level during sleep and can improve some of the arrhythmias occurring during desaturation, repeated studies have not demonstrated sustained clinically significant improvement in SDB with oxygen administration. Some prolongation of apneas also occurs, particularly at the beginning of therapy.

Oxygen administration may be beneficial in a subset of patients. Some patients with other coexistent pulmonary disorders may also benefit from use of oxygen in conjunction with n-CPAP.

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