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Interv Neurol. 2014 Aug;2(4):201-11. doi: 10.1159/000362677.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in acute ischemic stroke: a review.

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Department of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Command, PLA, Fuzhou, China.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Stroke, also known as cerebrovascular disease, is a common and serious neurological disease, which is also the fourth leading cause of death in the United States so far. Hyperbaric medicine, as an emerging interdisciplinary subject, has been applied in the treatment of cerebral vascular diseases since the 1960s. Now it is widely used to treat a variety of clinical disorders, especially hypoxia-induced disorders. However, owing to the complex mechanisms of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment, the therapeutic time window and the undefined dose as well as some common clinical side effects (such as middle ear barotrauma), the widespread promotion and application of HBO was hindered, slowing down the hyperbaric medicine development. In August 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration declared artery occlusion as one of the 13 specific indications for HBO therapy. This provides opportunities, to some extent, for the further development of hyperbaric medicine. Currently, the mechanisms of HBO therapy for ischemic stroke are still not very clear. This review focuses on the potential mechanisms of HBO therapy in acute ischemic stroke as well as the time window.


Brain ischemia; Early medical intervention; Hyperbaric oxygen; Molecular mechanisms; Neuroprotective effects

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