Oxygen Tensions in the Deep Gray Matter of Rats Exposed to Hyperbaric Oxygen

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


Selective necrosis of neurons and nuclei consistently occurs within the central nervous system (CNS) of rats paralyzed by repeated 1 hour exposures to 5 atmospheres of oxygen.l The distribution of the lesions differs from those of hypoxia in the same animal species. Excessive oxygen inhibits many enzymes vital to cellular metabolism in the CNS and it is reasonable to hypothesize that the neuronal necrosis produced by hyperbaric oxygen exposure is related to elevated tissue oxygen tensions. However, hyperbaric oxygen notedly produces cerebral vasospasm and a reduction in cerebral blood flow, and regional ischemia has been a tenable hypothesis for the occurrence of the CNS lesions. This latter mechanism seems unlikely because unilateral carotid artery ligation protects the ipsilateral but not the contralateral cerebral hemisphere from the occurrence of the oxygen induced lesions.2 (see Fig. 1)


Oxygen Tension Globus Pallidus Hyperbaric Oxygen Cerebral Vasospasm Central Nervous System Lesion 


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  1. 1.
    Balentine, J. D., and B. B. Gutsche. Central nervous system lesions in rats exposed to oxygen at high pressure. Amer. J. Path. 48: 107–127 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balentine, J. D. Pathogenesis of central nervous system lesions induced by exposure to hyperbaric oxygen. Amer. J. Path. 53: 1097–1109 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bean, J. W. Cerebral O2 in exposures to O2 at atmospheric and higher pressure and influence of CO2. Am. J. Physiol. 201: 1192–1198 (1961).PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Ogilvie
    • 1
  • J. Douglas Balentine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Department of PathologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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