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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Nov 15;192(10):1191-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201503-0609OC.

Pulmonary Phototherapy for Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Author information

1
1 Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine.
2
2 Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Department of Dermatology, and.
3
3 Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure is a leading cause of poison-related mortality. CO binds to Hb, forming carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), and produces tissue damage. Treatment of CO poisoning requires rapid removal of CO and restoration of oxygen delivery. Visible light is known to effectively dissociate CO from Hb, with a single photon dissociating one CO molecule.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether illumination of the lungs of CO-poisoned mice causes dissociation of COHb from blood transiting the lungs, releasing CO into alveoli and thereby enhancing the rate of CO elimination.

METHODS:

We developed a model of CO poisoning in anesthetized and mechanically ventilated mice to assess the effects of direct lung illumination (phototherapy) on the CO elimination rate. Light at wavelengths between 532 and 690 nm was tested. The effect of lung phototherapy administered during CO poisoning was also studied. To avoid a thoracotomy, we assessed the effect of lung phototherapy delivered to murine lungs via an optical fiber placed in the esophagus.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

In CO-poisoned mice, phototherapy of exposed lungs at 532, 570, 592, and 628 nm dissociated CO from Hb and doubled the CO elimination rate. Phototherapy administered during severe CO poisoning limited the blood COHb increase and improved the survival rate. Noninvasive transesophageal phototherapy delivered to murine lungs via an optical fiber increased the rate of CO elimination while avoiding a thoracotomy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future development and scaling up of lung phototherapy for patients with CO exposure may provide a significant advance for treating and preventing CO poisoning.

KEYWORDS:

carbon monoxide; carboxyhemoglobin; phototherapy; poisoning

Comment in

PMID:
26214119
PMCID:
PMC4731621
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201503-0609OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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