Although hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy can promote the recovery of neural function in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI), the underlying mechanism is unclear. We hypothesized that hyperbaric oxygen treatment plays a neuroprotective role in TBI by increasing regional transcranial oxygen saturation (rSO2) and oxygen partial pressure (PaO2). To test this idea, we compared two groups: a control group with 20 healthy people and a treatment group with 40 TBI patients. The 40 patients were given 100% oxygen of HBO for 90 minutes. Changes in rSO2 were measured. The controls were also examined for rSO2 and PaO2, but received no treatment. rSO2 levels in the patients did not differ significantly after treatment, but levels before and after treatment were significantly lower than those in the control group. PaO2 levels were significantly decreased after the 30-minute HBO treatment. Our findings suggest that there is a disorder of oxygen metabolism in patients with sub-acute TBI. HBO does not immediately affect cerebral oxygen metabolism, and the underlying mechanism still needs to be studied in depth.

Zhou, Liu, Liu, , , , , , (2016). Neuroprotection of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in sub-acute traumatic brain injury: not by immediately improving cerebral oxygen saturation and oxygen partial pressure. Neural regeneration research, 2016 Sep;11(9):1445-1449. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27857747