Central Nervous System Oxygen Toxicity and Hyperbaric Oxygen Seizures

The use of hyperbaric oxygen (O2) as a therapeutic agent carries with it the risk of central nervous system (CNS) O2 toxicity. To further the understanding of this risk and the nature of its molecular mechanism, a review was conducted on the literature from various fields. Numerous physiological changes are produced by increased partial pressures of oxygen (Po2), which may ultimately result in CNS O2 toxicity. The human body has several equilibrated safeguards that minimize effects of reactive species on neural networks, believed to play a primary role in CNS O2 toxicity. Increased partial pressure of oxygen (Po2) appears to saturate protective enzymes and unfavorably shift protective reactions in the direction of neural network overstimulation. Certain regions of the CNS appear more susceptible than others to these effects. Failure to decrease the elevated Po2 can result in a tonic-clonic seizure and death. Randomized, controlled studies in human populations would require a multicenter trial over a long period of time with numerous endpoints used to identify O2 toxicity. The mounting scientific evidence and apparent increase in the number of hyperbaric O2 treatments demonstrate a need for further study in the near future.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01601859
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 19 2016 4:31PM