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Spinal Cord. 2012 Jul;50(7):502-6. doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.16. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Evaluation of the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for spinal cord lesion in correlation with the moment of intervention.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



Experimental, controlled, animal study.


To evaluate the functional effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy administered shortly, one day after, and no intervention (control) in standardized experimental spinal cord lesions in Wistar rats.


São Paulo, Brazil.


In all, 30 Wistar rats with spinal cord lesions were divided into three groups: one group was submitted to hyperbaric oxygen therapy beginning half an hour after the lesion and with a total of 10 one-hour sessions, one session per day, at 2 atm; the second received the same treatment, but beginning on the day after the lesion; and the third received no treatment (control). The Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan scales were used for functional evaluation on the second day after the lesion and then weekly, until being killed 1 month later.


There were no significant differences between the groups in the functional analysis on the second day after the lesion. There was no functional difference comparing Groups 1 and 2 (treated shortly after or one day after) in any evaluation moment. On the 7th day, as well as on the 21st and 28th postoperative days, the evaluation showed that groups 1 and 2 performed significantly better than the control group (receiving no therapy).


Hyperbaric chamber therapy is beneficial in the functional recovery of spinal cord lesions in rats, if it is first administered just after spinal cord injury or within 24 h.

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