Long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) is universally prescribed to patients with chronic respiratory failure. Several clinical trials have shown that LTOT improves the functional efficiency of the cardiovascular, hematologic, renal, central nervous and muscular systems. Furthermore, LTOT improves lifestyle and prolongs survival of these subjects. However, it is not yet clear why some patients benefit from LTOT more than others. It is likely that selection criteria for LTOT need to be thoroughly examined in order to start treatment before the occurrence of irreversible structural changes, especially at the level of pulmonary vasculature.
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