Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Toxicology. 1997 Jul 25;121(1):81-90.

A proposed biochemical mechanism involving hemoglobin for blast overpressure-induced injury.

Author information

  • 1Department of Respiratory Research, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307, USA.


Blast overpressure (BOP) is the abrupt, rapid, rise in atmospheric pressure resulting from explosive detonation, firing of large-caliber weapons, and accidental occupational explosions. Exposure to incident BOP waves causes internal injuries, mostly to the hollow organs, particularly the ears, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. BOP-induced injury used to be considered of military concern because it occurred mostly in military environments during military actions or training, and to a lesser extent during civilian occupational accidents. However, in recent years with the proliferation of indiscriminate terrorist bombings worldwide involving civilians, blast injury has become a societal concern, and the need to understand the biochemical and molecular mechanism(s) of injury, and to find new and effective methods for treatment gained importance. In general, past BOP research has focused on the physiological and pathological manifestations of incapacitation, thresholds of safety, and on predictive modeling. However, we have been studying the molecular mechanism of BOP-induced injury, and recently began to have an insight into that mechanism, and recognize the role of hemoglobin released during hemorrhage in catalyzing free radical reactions leading to oxidative stress. In this report we discuss the biochemical changes observed after BOP exposure in rat blood and lung tissue, and propose a biochemical mechanism for free radical-induced oxidative stress that can potentially complicate the injury. Moreover, we observed that some antioxidants can interact with Hb oxidation products (oxy-, met- and oxoferrylHb) and act as prooxidants that can increase the damage rather than decrease it.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk