Hyperbaric oxygen may reduce gas bubbles in decompressed prawns by eliminating gas nuclei

Yehuda Arieli, Ran Arieli, Amit Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is accepted that gas bubbles grow from pre-existing gas nuclei in tissue. The possibility of eliminating gas nuclei may be of benefit in preventing decompression sickness. In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that hyperbaric oxygen may replace the resident gas in the nuclei with oxygen and, because of its metabolic role, eliminate the nuclei themselves. After pretreatment with oxygen, prawns were 98% saturated with nitrogen before explosive decompression at 30 m/min. Ten transparent prawns were exposed to four experimental profiles in a crossover design: 1) 10-min compression to 203 kPa with air; 2) 10-min compression with oxygen; 3) 10-min compression with oxygen to 203 kPa followed by 12 min air at 203 kPa; and 4) 10 min in normobaric oxygen followed by compression to 203 kPa with air. Bubbles were measured after explosive decompression. We found that pretreatment with hyperbaric oxygen (profile C) significantly reduces the number of bubbles and bubble volume. We suggest that hyperbaric oxygen eliminates bubble nuclei in the prawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2596-2599
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Decompression sickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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