We studied the effects of graded exposure to hyperbaric (1,875 mm Hg) oxygen therapy in an acute stroke model prepared by unilateral carotid artery interruption in gerbils. Pentobarbital alone, superoxide dismutase alone, two periods of hyperbaric oxygen alone, and each agent combined with hyperbaric oxygen were administered to investigate possible mechanisms of protection from cerebral ischemia. Survival rates and neurologic deficit scores over 5 days in all treated groups were compared with those in a control group. Survival rates in the groups subjected to 2 (63.9 +/- 4.0%) and 4 hours (70.1 +/- 5.2%) of hyperbaric oxygen alone were significantly higher than in the control group (53.6 +/- 4.2%). The group treated with pentobarbital alone also demonstrated increased survival (69.8 +/- 7.0%), but the combination of therapeutic regimens offered no apparent additive protection. By 5 days there were no differences in the neurologic deficit scores of the survivors in the groups. The toxic pulmonary effects of hyperbaric oxygen were assessed in a pilot LD50 study. The pressure used caused no mortality during 4 hours of exposure, and the calculated LD50 was 7.26 hours. This investigation demonstrates that graded doses of hyperbaric oxygen given after the insult increase survival in a gerbil model of stroke.

Reitan, Kien, Thorup, Corkill, , , , , (1990). Hyperbaric oxygen increases survival following carotid ligation in gerbils. Stroke, 1990 Jan;21(1):119-23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2300978