The neuroprotective effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on laser-induced retinal damage in rats

V. Vishnevskia-Dai, M. Belokopytov, G. Dubinsky, G. Nachum, I. Avni, M. Belkin, M. Rosner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Retinal damage induced by mechanical trauma, ischemia or laser photocoagulation increases considerably by secondary degeneration processes. The spread of damage may be ameliorated by neuroprotection that is aimed at reducing the extent of the secondary degeneration and promote healing processes. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment consists of inspiration of oxygen at higher than one absolute atmospheric pressure. Improved neural function was observed in patients with acute brain trauma or ischemia treated with HBO. This study was designed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) on laser induced retinal damage in a rat model. Standard argon laser lesions were created in 25 pigmented rats divided into three groups: Ten rats were treated immediately after the irradiation with HBO three times during the first 24 hr followed by 12 consecutive daily treatments. Five rats received a shorter treatment regimen of 10 consecutive HBO treatments. The control group (10 rats) underwent the laser damage with no additional treatment. The retinal lesions were evaluated 20 days after the injury. All outcome measures were improved by the longer HBO treatment (P<.01). The shorter HBO treatment was less effective, showing an increase only in nuclei density at the central area of lesion (P< 0.01). Hyperbaric oxygen seems to exert a neuroprotective effect on laser-induced retinal damage in a rat model. In the range of HBO exposures studied, longer exposure provides more neuroprotection. These results encourage further evaluation of the potential therapeutic use of hyperbaric oxygen in diseases and injuries of the retina.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2005
EventOphtalmic Technologies XV - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 22 Jan 200525 Jan 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Hyperbaric oxygen
  • Ischemia
  • Laser
  • Neuroprotection
  • Retina
  • Retinal injury


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