Long-term mortality and health-related quality of life of lower versus higher oxygenation targets in ICU patients with severe hypoxaemia

Elena Crescioli, Thomas Lass Klitgaard, Lone Musaeus Poulsen, Bjørn Anders Brand, Martin Siegemund, Thorbjørn Grøfte, Frederik Keus, Ulf Gøttrup Pedersen, Minna Bäcklund, Johanna Karttunen, Matthew Morgan, Andrei Ciubotariu, Anne-Marie Gellert Bunzel, Stine Rom Vestergaard, Nicolaj Munch Jensen, Thomas Steen Jensen, Maj-Brit Nørregaard Kjær, Aksel Karl Georg Jensen, Theis Lange, Jørn WetterslevAnders Perner, Olav Lilleholt Schjørring, Bodil Steen Rasmussen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: We assessed outcomes after 1 year of lower versus higher oxygenation targets in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe hypoxaemia.

METHODS: Pre-planned analyses evaluating 1-year mortality and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) outcomes in the previously published Handling Oxygenation Targets in the ICU trial which randomised 2928 adults with acute hypoxaemia to targets of arterial oxygen of 8 kPa or 12 kPa throughout the ICU stay up to 90 days. One-year all-cause mortality was assessed in the intention-to-treat population. HRQoL was assessed using EuroQol 5 dimensions 5 levels (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire and EQ visual analogue scale score (EQ-VAS), and analyses were conducted in both survivors only and the intention-to-treat population with assignment of the worst scores to deceased patients.

RESULTS: We obtained 1-year vital status for 2887/2928 (98.6%), and HRQoL for 2600/2928 (88.8%) of the trial population. One year after randomisation, 707/1442 patients (49%) in the lower oxygenation group vs. 704/1445 (48.7%) in the higher oxygenation group had died (adjusted risk ratio 1.00; 95% confidence interval 0.93-1.08, p = 0.92). In total, 1189/1476 (80.4%) 1-year survivors participated in HRQoL interviews: median EQ-VAS scores were 65 (interquartile range 50-80) in the lower oxygenation group versus 67 (50-80) in the higher oxygenation group (p = 0.98). None of the five EQ-5D-5L dimensions differed between groups.

CONCLUSION: Among adult ICU patients with severe hypoxaemia, a lower oxygenation target (8 kPa) did not improve survival or HRQoL at 1 year as compared to a higher oxygenation target (12 kPa).

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)714-722
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Intensive care units
  • Mortality
  • Oxygen inhalation therapy
  • Quality of life
  • Randomized controlled trial


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