Effectiveness of 80% vs 30-35% fraction of inspired oxygen in patients undergoing surgery: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis.

de Jonge, Stijn; Egger, Matthias; Latif, Asad; Loke, Yoon Kong; Berenholtz, Sean; Boermeester, Marja; Allegranzi, Benedetta; Solomkin, Joseph (2019). Effectiveness of 80% vs 30-35% fraction of inspired oxygen in patients undergoing surgery: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of anaesthesia, 122(3), pp. 325-334. Oxford University Press 10.1016/j.bja.2018.11.024

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In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommended the use of a high fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO) in adult patients undergoing general anaesthesia to reduce the risk of surgical site infection (SSI). Since then, further trials have been published, trials included previously have come under scrutiny, and one article was retracted. We updated the systematic review on which the recommendation was based.


We performed a systematic literature search from January 1990 to April 2018 for RCTs comparing the effect of high (80%) vs standard (30-35%) FiO on the incidence of SSI. Studies retracted or under investigation were excluded. A random effects model was used for meta-analyses; the sources of heterogeneity were explored using meta-regression.


Of 21 RCTs included, six were newly identified since the publication of the WHO guideline review; 17 could be included in the final analyses. Overall, no evidence for a reduction of SSI after the use of high FiO was found [relative risk (RR): 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73-1.07]. There was evidence that high FiO was beneficial in intubated patients [RR: 0.80 (95% CI: 0.64-0.99)], but not in non-intubated patients [RR: 1.20 (95% CI: 0.91-1.58); test of interaction; P=0.048].


The WHO updated analyses did not show definite beneficial effect of the use of high perioperative FiO, overall, but there was evidence of effect of reducing the SSI risk in surgical patients under general anaesthesia with tracheal intubation. However, the evidence for this beneficial effect has become weaker and the strength of the recommendation needs to be reconsidered.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Egger, Matthias


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

05 Mar 2019 17:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:26

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

general anaesthesia hyperoxia postoperative outcome surgical site infection surgical wound infection





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