Hyperbaric oxygen in neurosurgery

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2009 Apr;151(4):415-8. doi: 10.1007/s00701-009-0228-2. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


Background: The therapeutic use of pure oxygen, even under hyperbaric conditions, has been well established for about 50 years, whereas the discovery of oxygen occurred 250 years earlier. Many neurosurgical patients suffer from brain tissue damage, due to reduced blood flow, obstructive vessel disease, or as a result of traumatic brain injury.

Methods and results: The application of pure oxygen in these patients is the only method of increasing the O(2) concentration in tissue with impaired blood supply and can minimize secondary impairment of brain tissue.

Discussion: In this brief historical overview we focus on the development and evidence of hyperbaric oxygenation in this specific field of insufficient oxygen supply to the central neural tissue.

Conclusion: With the use of modern biological methods and new study designs, HBO has a place in evidence-based treatment of patients with neural tissue damage.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Decompression Sickness / therapy
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / history*
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods
  • Hypoxia, Brain / history*
  • Hypoxia, Brain / therapy
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / history*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Stroke / metabolism
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / therapy


  • Oxygen