Oxygen pretreatment as protection against decompression sickness in rats: Pressure and time necessary for hypothesized denucleation and renucleation

Ran Arieli, Elran Boaron, Yehuda Arieli, Amir Abramovich, Ksenya Katsenelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pretreatment with HBO at 300-500 kPa for 20 min reduced the incidence of decompression sickness (DCS) in a rat model. We investigated whether this procedure would be effective with lower oxygen pressures and shorter exposure, and tried to determine how long the pretreatment would remain effective. Rats were pretreated with oxygen at 101 or 203 kPa for 20 min and 304 kPa for 5 or 10 min. After pretreatment, the animals were exposed to air at 1,013 kPa for 33 min followed by fast decompression. Pretreatment at 101 or 203 kPa for 20 min and 304 kPa for 10 min significantly reduced the number of rats with DCS to 45%, compared with 65% in the control group. However, after pretreatment at 304 kPa for 5 min, 65% of rats suffered DCS. When pretreatment at 304 kPa for 20 min was followed by 2 h in normobaric air before compression and decompression, the outcome was worse, with 70-90% of the animals suffering DCS. This is probably due to the activation of "dormant" micronuclei. The risk of DCS remained lower (43%) when pretreatment with 100% O2 at normobaric pressure for 20 min was followed by a 2 h interval in normobaric air (but not 6 or 24 h) before the hyperbaric exposure. The loss of effectiveness after a 6 or 24 h interval in normobaric air is related to micronuclei rejuvenation. Although pretreatment with hyperbaric O2 may have an advantage over normobaric hyperoxia, decompression should not intervene between pretreatment and the dive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors thank Richard Lincoln for skillful editing of the manuscript and Dorit Tsur for the statistical analysis. This study was supported in part by a grant from the IDF Medical Corps and the Israel MOD. The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private ones of the authors and are not to be construed as oYcial or as reXecting the views of the Israel Naval Medical Institute.

Keywords

  • Diving
  • Gas bubbles
  • Gas micronuclei
  • Hyperbaric oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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