Hyperbaric oxygen pretreatment and preconditioning

Exposure to hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) before a crucial event, with the plan to create a preventing therapeutic situation, has been defined “preconditioning” and is emerging as a useful adjunct both in diving medicine as well before ischemic or inflammatory events. Oxygen pre-breathing before diving has been extensively documented in recreational, technical, commercial and military diving for tissue denitrogenation, resulting in reduced post-diving bubble loads, reduced decompression requirements and more rapid return to normal platelet function after a decompression. Preoxygenation at high atmospheric pressure has also been used in patients before exposure to clinical situations with beneficial effects, but the mechanisms of action have not yet been ascertained. During the reperfusion of ischemic tissue, oxygenated blood increases numbers and activities of oxidants generated in tissues. Previous reports showed that HBO2 preconditioning caused the activation of antioxidative enzymes and related genes in the central nervous system, including catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase and heme oxygenase-1. Despite the increasing number of basic science publications on this issue, studies describing HBO2 preconditioning in the clinical practice remain scarce. To date, only a few studies have investigated the preconditioning effects of HBO2 in relation to the human brain and myocardium with robust and promising results.

Categories: Surgery and transplant