Article

The Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Drs Cifu, West, Walker, and Carne)
The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.92). 09/2013; 29(1). DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182a6aaf0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The high incidence of persistent postconcussion symptoms in service members with combat-related mild traumatic brain injury has prompted research in the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) for management.
The effects of HBO2 on persistent postconcussion symptoms in 60 military service members with at least 1 combat-related mild traumatic brain injury were examined in a single-center, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, prospective trial at the Naval Medicine Operational Training Center at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Over a 10-week period, subjects received a series of 40, once-daily, hyperbaric chamber compressions at 2.0 atmospheres absolute (ATA). During each session, subjects breathed 1 of 3 preassigned oxygen fractions (10.5%, 75%, or 100%) for 60 minutes, resulting in an oxygen exposure equivalent to breathing surface air, 100% oxygen at 1.5 ATA, or 100% oxygen at 2.0 ATA, respectively. Individual, subscale and total item responses on the Rivermead Postconcussion Symptom Questionnaire and individual and total Posttraumatic Disorder Checklist-Military Version were measured just prior to intervention and immediately postintervention.
Between-group testing of pre- and postintervention means revealed no significant differences on individual or total scores on the Posttraumatic Disorder Checklist-Military Version or Rivermead Postconcussion Symptom Questionnaire, demonstrating a successful randomization and no significant main effect for HBO2 at 1.5 or 2.0 ATA equivalent compared with the sham compression. Within-group testing of pre- and postintervention means revealed significant differences on several individual items for each group and difference in the Posttraumatic Disorder Checklist-Military Version total score for the 2.0 ATA HBO2 group.
The primary analyses of between group differences found no evidence of efficacy for HBO2. The scattered within group differences are threatened by Type 2 errors and could be explained by nonspecific effects.
This study demonstrated that HBO2 at either 1.5 or 2.0 ATA equivalent had no effect on postconcussion symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury when compared with sham compression.

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    • "A study of the effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of severe brain injured patients has been published already two decades ago. Several prospective clinical trials on treatment of mTBI have been published in the last decade [31], [32], [33], and three studies published in the last two years addressed the effect of HBOT on chronic mild TBI patients [34], [35], [36]. However, the reported beneficial effects of the hyperbaric treatment were severely questioned by the medical community and triggered high skepticisms to the extent that TBI and stroke patients in the US are rarely treated by hyperbaric oxygen. "
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. Approximately 70-90% of the TBI cases are classified as mild, and up to 25% of them will not recover and suffer chronic neurocognitive impairments. The main pathology in these cases involves diffuse brain injuries, which are hard to detect by anatomical imaging yet noticeable in metabolic imaging. The current study tested the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in improving brain function and quality of life in mTBI patients suffering chronic neurocognitive impairments. The trial population included 56 mTBI patients 1-5 years after injury with prolonged post-concussion syndrome (PCS). The HBOT effect was evaluated by means of prospective, randomized, crossover controlled trial: the patients were randomly assigned to treated or crossover groups. Patients in the treated group were evaluated at baseline and following 40 HBOT sessions; patients in the crossover group were evaluated three times: at baseline, following a 2-month control period of no treatment, and following subsequent 2-months of 40 HBOT sessions. The HBOT protocol included 40 treatment sessions (5 days/week), 60 minutes each, with 100% oxygen at 1.5 ATA. "Mindstreams" was used for cognitive evaluations, quality of life (QOL) was evaluated by the EQ-5D, and changes in brain activity were assessed by SPECT imaging. Significant improvements were demonstrated in cognitive function and QOL in both groups following HBOT but no significant improvement was observed following the control period. SPECT imaging revealed elevated brain activity in good agreement with the cognitive improvements. HBOT can induce neuroplasticity leading to repair of chronically impaired brain functions and improved quality of life in mTBI patients with prolonged PCS at late chronic stage. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00715052.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate the potential benefits of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The right cerebral cortex of rats was injured by the impact of a 20-g object dropped from a predetermined height. The rats received HBO treatment at 3 ATA for 60 min after TBI. Neurological behavior score, brain water content, neuronal loss in the hippocampus, and cell apoptosis in brain tissue surrounding the primary injury site were examined to determine brain damage severity. Three and six hours after TBI, HBO-treated rats displayed a significant reduction in brain damage. However, by 12 h after TBI, the efficacy of HBO treatment was considerably attenuated. Furthermore, at 24, 48, and 72 h after TBI, the HBO treatment did not show any notable effects. In contrast, multiple HBO treatments (three or five times in all), even when started 48 h after TBI, remarkably reduced neurology deficit scores and the loss of neuronal numbers in the hippocampus. Although multiple treatments started at 48 h significantly improved neurological behaviors and reduced brain injury, the overall beneficial effects were substantially weaker than those seen after a single treatment at 6 h. These results suggest that: (1) HBO treatment could alleviate brain damage after TBI; (2) a single treatment with HBO has a time limitation of 12 h post-TBI; and (3) multiple HBO treatments have the possibility to extend the post-TBI delivery time window. Therefore, our results clearly suggest the validity of HBO therapy for the treatment of TBI.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of neurotrauma
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. Approximately 70-90% of the TBI cases are classified as mild, and up to 25% of them will not recover and suffer chronic neurocognitive impairments. The main pathology in these cases involves diffuse brain injuries, which are hard to detect by anatomical imaging yet noticeable in metabolic imaging. The current study tested the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in improving brain function and quality of life in mTBI patients suffering chronic neurocognitive impairments. Methods and Findings: The trial population included 56 mTBI patients 1–5 years after injury with prolonged post-concussion syndrome (PCS). The HBOT effect was evaluated by means of prospective, randomized, crossover controlled trial: the patients were randomly assigned to treated or crossover groups. Patients in the treated group were evaluated at baseline and following 40 HBOT sessions; patients in the crossover group were evaluated three times: at baseline, following a 2-month control period of no treatment, and following subsequent 2-months of 40 HBOT sessions. The HBOT protocol included 40 treatment sessions (5 days/week), 60 minutes each, with 100% oxygen at 1.5 ATA. ''Mindstreams'' was used for cognitive evaluations, quality of life (QOL) was evaluated by the EQ-5D, and changes in brain activity were assessed by SPECT imaging. Significant improvements were demonstrated in cognitive function and QOL in both groups following HBOT but no significant improvement was observed following the control period. SPECT imaging revealed elevated brain activity in good agreement with the cognitive improvements. Conclusions: HBOT can induce neuroplasticity leading to repair of chronically impaired brain functions and improved quality of life in mTBI patients with prolonged PCS at late chronic stage.
    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2013
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