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Concept: Oxygen toxicity


Monitoring temperature of aquatic waters is of great importance, with modelled, satellite and in-situ data providing invaluable insights into long-term environmental change. However, there is often a lack of depth-resolved temperature measurements. Recreational dive computers routinely record temperature and depth, so could provide an alternate and highly novel source of oceanographic information to fill this data gap. In this study, a citizen science approach was used to obtain over 7,000 scuba diver temperature profiles. The accuracy, offset and lag of temperature records was assessed by comparing dive computers with scientific conductivity-temperature-depth instruments and existing surface temperature data. Our results show that, with processing, dive computers can provide a useful and novel tool with which to augment existing monitoring systems all over the globe, but especially in under-sampled or highly changeable coastal environments.

Concepts: Scuba set, Oxygen, Nitrox, Dive computer, Underwater diving, Diving equipment, Oxygen toxicity, Scuba diving


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 Warburg effect and tumor hypoxia underlie a unique cancer metabolic phenotype characterized by glucose dependency and aerobic fermentation. We previously showed that two non-toxic metabolic therapies - the ketogenic diet with concurrent hyperbaric oxygen (KD+HBOT) and dietary ketone supplementation - could increase survival time in the VM-M3 mouse model of metastatic cancer. We hypothesized that combining these therapies could provide an even greater therapeutic benefit in this model. Mice receiving the combination therapy demonstrated a marked reduction in tumor growth rate and metastatic spread, and lived twice as long as control animals. To further understand the effects of these metabolic therapies, we characterized the effects of high glucose (control), low glucose (LG), ketone supplementation (βHB), hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT), or combination therapy (LG+βHB+HBOT) on VM-M3 cells. Individually and combined, these metabolic therapies significantly decreased VM-M3 cell proliferation and viability. HBOT, alone or in combination with LG and βHB, increased ROS production in VM-M3 cells. This study strongly supports further investigation into this metabolic therapy as a potential non-toxic treatment for late-stage metastatic cancers.

Concepts: Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Diving medicine, Cancer, Metastasis, Medical treatments, Oncology, Oxygen


Oxygen uptake by the pulmonary circulation is a chemical reaction. The physicochemical attributes of oxygen are critical when studying pulmonary oxygen toxicity. Extent of lung injury depends on the percentage of oxygen in an oxygen-nitrogen mix in polybaric circumstances (Shanklin, 1969). Further change in extent of lesion follows when other gases are used in the inhalant mix instead of nitrogen (Shanklin and Lester, 1972), with oxygen at 21-100% of the mix. Comparative subatmospheric oxygen levels down to 3% in hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, argon, or sulfur hexafluoride, were run with and without ventilatory distress by the Farber (1937) model, bilateral cervical vagotomy (BCV). This yielded coherent results indicating a need to consider molecular characteristics at the atomic level. Molecular mass and size, gas viscosity, and thermal conductivity yielded no obvious correlates to lung injury. Saturation of the outer electron shells of the diluents fit the empiric data, prospectively an interaction between oxygen and nitrogen from their electronegativity and closely approximate molecular mass, size, and shape. The lesion is essentially eliminated at 7% oxygen in nitrogen. At 3% oxygen, the least lesion is found with N(2), H(2), and SF(6), all gases with incomplete outer electron shells, allowing for transient, possibly polarized, covalent bonding with oxygen as the significant minority component in the mix. Argon and helium do not interfere with oxygen. With 3% oxygen in argon without BCV, the experiments ran so long (>70hours) they were terminated once the point had been made. 3% oxygen in argon after BCV yielded a mean survival more than twice that of BCV in air, indicating a remarkable degree of nitrogen interference with oxygen in the respiratory medium of terrestrial animal life. Argon displayed other advantages for the lung compared to nitrogen. Hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen are diatomic molecules, a feature which does relate to the extent of lung injury, but only oxygen is paramagnetic. Magnetic effects on lesion formation were tested: [1] with ventilatory distress induced in newborn rabbits, and [2] in young adult female white mice exposed to 100% oxygen without added mechanical distress. A noninvasive model for ventilatory distress, thoracic restraint (TR), with longer mean survivals of 40-50hours, was employed rather than the Farber model. Parallel runs with TR, one subset receiving 100% oxygen in a plastic chamber resting on six strong ring magnets with measured fields up to +1200 gauss, the other plain 100% oxygen, were performed. Both subsets developed moderate metabolic acidosis with average weight losses circa 25%, but over different time courses, 82.89±4.91hours in magnetized oxygen, 55.4% longer than the 53.34±9.82hours in plain oxygen (p<0.001). The longer survival in magnetized oxygen meant extensive lung injury (99.57±0.42% pleural surface, versus 83.86±14.03%), but the rate of lesion formation was 30.89% faster in plain oxygen (1.5722% per hour) than in magnetized oxygen (1.2012% per hour), a difference significant at p<0.001. The effect of oxygen without mechanical ventilatory distress was examined in female adult white mice exposed to oxygen or magnetized oxygen. Similar survivals and weight losses were achieved. The rate of lung lesion formation was different, 1.2617% per hour in plain oxygen, 46.13% faster than 0.8634% per hour in magnetized oxygen. A variable magnetic field, with animals moving and breathing in chambers flooded with oxygen, has both systemic and pulmonary effects which alter the rate of lesion formation due to oxygen toxicity. Paramagnetic oxygen in a magnetic field influences the effect of oxygen toxicity on the lung but at these strengths of field it does not overcome significant mechanical disturbance.

Concepts: Helium, Oxygen toxicity, Nitrogen, Atom, Scuba diving, Hydrogen, Magnetism, Oxygen


While the importance of oxygen to the wound healing process is well accepted, research and technological advances continue in this field and efforts are ongoing to further utilize oxygen as a therapeutic modality. In this paper, the authors briefly review the role of oxygen in wound healing and discuss the distinct mechanism of action as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the three major oxygen-based therapies currently in clinical use (Hyperbaric Oxygen and Topical Oxygen and Continuous Diffusion of Oxygen), as well as review the existing literature regarding these distinct therapeutic modalities.

Concepts: Diving medicine, Scar, Modality, Oxygen toxicity, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen, Healing, Wound healing


Chronic skin ulcers require extensive, systemic differential diagnosis; thus, they are difficult to diagnose and treat. Transient or persistent hypercoagulable states are among the rare causes of skin ulcers. Here, we present the case of a 27-year-old woman patient with recurrent, nonhealing skin ulcers of 8 years' duration, who had been treated unsuccessfully with various medications under different diagnoses at different clinics. On admission, a skin biopsy demonstrated occlusive vasculopathy, and the search for an inherited hypercoagulable state revealed a heterozygous factor V Leiden mutation. The patient was treated with anticoagulants and hyperbaric oxygen. On treatment, the skin lesions healed and did not recur.

Concepts: Medical diagnosis, Oxygen toxicity, Differential diagnosis, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen, Diagnosis, Medical terms, Factor V Leiden


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