To evaluate the potential for hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) to produce transient improvement in function in areas of myocardium ischemic at rest (hibernating myocardium), 24 patients were studied within 1 week of acute myocardial infarction. Results were compared with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) thallium-201 exercise scintigraphy. Echocardiography demonstrated improved contraction following HBO in 20 of 62 damaged left ventricular segments in 12 of 24 patients. Thirteen of the 28 segments and 9 of the 14 patients showing reversible ischemia on SPECT imaging showed improvement with HBO. There were eight segments with apparently normal resting contraction that showed a reversible thallium defect. Of 42 segments with fixed contraction abnormalities following HBO, eight had reversible thallium defects, four had normal thallium kinetics, and 30 had fixed thallium defects. Thus hyperbaric oxygen can demonstrate improvement in function in some segments of left ventricle after infarction. There is some overlap with viability as determined by thallium studies, but the two techniques may be complementary in describing myocardial ischemia.

Swift, Turner, Oxer, O’Shea, Lane, Woollard, , , (1992). Myocardial hibernation identified by hyperbaric oxygen treatment and echocardiography in postinfarction patients: comparison with exercise thallium scintigraphy.¬†American heart journal, 1992 Nov;124(5):1151-8.¬†https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1442480