Although many of the reported advantages of transtracheal oxygen therapy (TTO2) over traditional methods have been confirmed, improvements in exercise tolerance and the possible mechanisms for this improvement remain controversial. We compared exercise capacity before and after 6 months of TTO2. Fifteen patients (seven male, eight female), receiving continuous oxygen, were evaluated regarding pulmonary function, blood gases, exercise capacity, and activity profile before and after 6 months of TTO2 therapy. No significant improvements were observed in pulmonary function (with the exception of increased maximum expiratory pressure [P < .05]), blood gases, cardiovascular function, exercise capacity, or the Human Activity Profile Test. However, cardiovascular function and exercise capacity showed consistent improvement. This suggests that a modest training effect may occur. It appeared that these improvements may be associated indirectly with enhanced cosmesis and self-image which encouraged increases in routine lifestyle activity patterns. The evidence, however, does not appear to support improvements in exercise capacity due to TTO2 per se.
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