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Concept: Decompression sickness


Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a persistent and debilitating disorder estimated to impair the quality of life of 2-4% of the population, with 9:1 female-to-male incidence ratio. FMS is an important representative example of central nervous system sensitization and is associated with abnormal brain activity. Key symptoms include chronic widespread pain, allodynia and diffuse tenderness, along with fatigue and sleep disturbance. The syndrome is still elusive and refractory. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on symptoms and brain activity in FMS.

Concepts: Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Nervous system, Hyperbaric medicine, Central nervous system, Brain, Oxygen


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. Approximately 70-90% of the TBI cases are classified as mild, and up to 25% of them will not recover and suffer chronic neurocognitive impairments. The main pathology in these cases involves diffuse brain injuries, which are hard to detect by anatomical imaging yet noticeable in metabolic imaging. The current study tested the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in improving brain function and quality of life in mTBI patients suffering chronic neurocognitive impairments.

Concepts: Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Post-concussion syndrome, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Concussion, Oxygen, Traumatic brain injury


BACKGROUND: Recovery after stroke correlates with non-active (stunned) brain regions, which may persist for years. The current study aimed to evaluate whether increasing the level of dissolved oxygen by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) could activate neuroplasticity in patients with chronic neurologic deficiencies due to stroke. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial including 74 patients (15 were excluded). All participants suffered a stroke 6-36 months prior to inclusion and had at least one motor dysfunction. After inclusion, patients were randomly assigned to “treated” or “cross” groups. Brain activity was assessed by SPECT imaging; neurologic functions were evaluated by NIHSS, ADL, and life quality. Patients in the treated group were evaluated twice: at baseline and after 40 HBOT sessions. Patients in the cross group were evaluated three times: at baseline, after a 2-month control period of no treatment, and after subsequent 2-months of 40 HBOT sessions. HBOT protocol: Two months of 40 sessions (5 days/week), 90 minutes each, 100% oxygen at 2 ATA. We found that the neurological functions and life quality of all patients in both groups were significantly improved following the HBOT sessions while no improvement was found during the control period of the patients in the cross group. Results of SPECT imaging were well correlated with clinical improvement. Elevated brain activity was detected mostly in regions of live cells (as confirmed by CT) with low activity (based on SPECT) - regions of noticeable discrepancy between anatomy and physiology. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages. The observed clinical improvements imply that neuroplasticity can still be activated long after damage onset in regions where there is a brain SPECT/CT (anatomy/physiology) mismatch. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00715897.

Concepts: Neurology, Oxygen mask, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Medicine, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen


The Tokyo Guidelines of 2007 (TG07) described the techniques and recommendations of biliary decompression in patients with acute cholangitis. TG07 recommended that endoscopic transpapillary biliary drainage should be selected as a first-choice therapy for acute cholangitis because it is associated with a low mortality rate and shorter duration of hospitalization. However, TG07 did not include the whole technique of standard endoscopic transpapillary biliary drainage, for example, biliary cannulation techniques including contrast medium-assisted cannulation, wire-guided cannulation, and treatment of duodenal major papilla using endoscopic papillary balloon dilation (EPBD). Furthermore, recently single- or double-balloon enteroscopy-assisted biliary drainage (BE-BD) and endoscopic ultrasonography-guided biliary drainage (EUS-BD) have been reported as special techniques for biliary drainage. Nevertheless, the updated Tokyo Guidelines (TG13) recommends that endoscopic drainage should be first-choice treatment for biliary decompression in patients with non-surgically altered anatomy and suggests that the choice of cannulation technique or drainage method (endoscopic naso-biliary drainage and stenting) depends on the endoscopist’s preference but EST should be selected rather than EPBD from the aspect of procedure-related complications. In terms of BE-BD and EUS-BD, although there are many reports on the their usefulness, they should be performed by skilled endoscopists in high-volume institutes, who are good at enteroscopy or echoendosonography, respectively, because procedures and devices are not yet established.Free full-text articles and a mobile application of TG13 are available via .

Concepts: Cholangitis, Ascending cholangitis, Decompression sickness, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Enteroscopy, Digestive system, Mortality rate, Endoscopy


In 2015 the German Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine (GTÜM) and the Swiss Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Society (SUHMS) published the updated guidelines on diving accidents 2014-2017. These multidisciplinary guidelines were developed within a structured consensus process by members of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), the Sports Divers Association (VDST), the Naval Medical Institute (SchiffMedInst), the Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Building Trade (BG BAU), the Association of Hyperbaric Treatment Centers (VDD) and the Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (DGAUM). This consensus-based guidelines project (development grade S2k) with a representative group of developers was conducted by the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany. It provides information and instructions according to up to date evidence to all divers and other lay persons for first aid recommendations to physician first responders and emergency physicians as well as paramedics and all physicians at therapeutic hyperbaric chambers for the diagnostics and treatment of diving accidents. To assist in implementing the guideline recommendations, this article summarizes the rationale, purpose and the following key action statements: on-site 100 % oxygen first aid treatment, still patient positioning and fluid administration are recommended. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) recompression remains unchanged the established treatment in severe cases with no therapeutic alternatives. The basic treatment scheme recommended for diving accidents is hyperbaric oxygenation at 280 kPa. For quality management purposes there is a need in the future for a nationwide register of hyperbaric therapy.

Concepts: Oxygen toxicity, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, First aid, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Medicine, Oxygen, Hyperbaric medicine


To analyze the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen for the treatment of radiation-induced hemorrhagic cystitis and to identify factors associated with successful treatment.

Concepts: Medical treatments, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Oxygen mask, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen


Bites by Loxosceles spiders (also known as recluse spiders or brown spiders) can cause necrotic ulcerations of various sizes and dimensions. The current standard of care for brown spider bites includes analgesics, ice, compression, elevation, antihistamines, and surgical debridement. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the treatment of brown spider bites has been administered in the early stage of ulceration, or 2 to 6 days after the bite. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of spider bite-related ulcers is often delayed and weeks or months may elapse before HBOT is considered.

Concepts: Oxygen mask, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Brown recluse spider, Spider bite, Oxygen


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is defined as breathing 100% oxygen at a pressure ≥1.4 atmospheres absolute (ATA). Adjunct HBOT is one modality used for treatment of certain complex wounds. The resulting increase in oxygen delivery to wounded tissue has been associated with reduced edema, reduced inflammation, improved infection control, increased collagen deposition, and increased angiogenesis. However, there remains a relative paucity of evidence supporting the use of HBOT in the treatment of certain acute and chronic, non-healing wounds. This feasibility study was undertaken to evaluate the ability of fluorescence angiography to provide real-time visualization and objective assessment of changes in local tissue perfusion over a standard course of HBOT.

Concepts: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Oxygen mask, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen


The present study was carried out to evaluate cerebral perfusion in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with a moderate to severe stage of disease. Some patients underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and brain perfusion between before and after that was compared.

Concepts: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Multiple sclerosis, Oxygen mask, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen


Effective brain metabolism is highly dependent on a narrow therapeutic window of oxygen. In major insults to the brain (e.g., intracerebral hemorrhage), a slight decrease in oxygen supply, as occurs in a hypobaric environment at high altitude, has devastating effects on the injured brain tissue. Conversely, increasing brain oxygenation, by the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, can improve brain metabolism and its dependent regenerative processes.

Concepts: Medicine, Brain, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen mask, Oxygen