Heliox use in the treatment of acute hyperammonnemia

Joseph Barr*, Gideon Eshel, Zehava Chen-Levy, Eli Lahat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate a new method for the treatment of acute hyperammonemia with a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox). We conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled study of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Experimental hyperammonemia was induced by 7 days of a high-ammonia diet. Subsequently, the animals were randomly divided into two groups: the study group treated with heliox breathing for 24 hours and a control group breathing room air for 24 hours. A prospective, randomized, controlled laboratory animal study was conducted at an animal research facility. The baseline plasma ammonia level was 9.49 ± 10.96 μmol/L. After 7 days of a high-ammonia diet, the plasma ammonia level rose to 31.53 ± 8.86 μmol/L. There was a significant statistical difference between the plasma ammonia level following 24 hours of heliox therapy (23.14 ± 13.97 μmol/L) and the ammonia level in the control group (42.31 ± 24.25 μmol/L) (P <.05). Heliox breathing was found to be an efficient treatment modality for decreasing plasma ammonia levels in an animal model. Further studies are required to evaluate its potential application in the treatment of patients with hyperammonemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-458
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


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