Selective Vulnerability of the Central Nervous System to Hyperbaric Oxygen

  • J. Douglas Balentine
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37 A)


The adverse effects of hyperoxia on the central nervous system (CNS) have been well known since the 19th century writing of Paul Bert. Acute CNS oxygen toxicity is manisfested by grand mal convulsions and may result in death following status epilepticus. Bean and Seigfried2 reported a delayed or chronic type of oxygen poisoning in rats subjected to repeated brief intermittent exposures to hyperbaric oxygen (HO), which resulted in permanent limb paralysis. The paralyses observed in this type of oxygen toxicity usually affect the forelimbs bilaterally with the animals assuming a kangaroolike posture. Rigidity of the paralyzed limbs is common. Animals capable of locomotion are ataxic. A few rats become quadriplegic.


Neuronal Cell Body Selective Vulnerability Ventral Cochlear Nucleus Intermittent Exposure Minute Exposure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Douglas Balentine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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