The Impact of Short-Term Hyperoxia on Cerebral Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurocrit Care. 2022 Oct;37(2):547-557. doi: 10.1007/s12028-022-01529-9. Epub 2022 Jun 1.


Background: Cerebral ischemia due to hypoxia is a major cause of secondary brain injury and is associated with higher morbidity and mortality in patients with acute brain injury. Hyperoxia could improve energetic dysfunction in the brain in this setting. Our objectives were to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the current literature and to assess the impact of normobaric hyperoxia on brain metabolism by using cerebral microdialysis.

Methods: We searched Medline and Scopus, following the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement; we searched for retrospective and prospective observational studies, interventional studies, and randomized clinical trials that performed a hyperoxia challenge in patients with acute brain injury who were concomitantly monitored with cerebral microdialysis. This study was registered in PROSPERO (CRD420211295223).

Results: We included a total of 17 studies, with a total of 311 patients. A statistically significant reduction in cerebral lactate values (pooled standardized mean difference [SMD] - 0.38 [- 0.53 to - 0.23]) and lactate to pyruvate ratio values (pooled SMD - 0.20 [- 0.35 to - 0.05]) was observed after hyperoxia. However, glucose levels (pooled SMD - 0.08 [- 0.23 to 0.08]) remained unchanged after hyperoxia.

Conclusions: Normobaric hyperoxia may improve cerebral metabolic disturbances in patients with acute brain injury. The clinical impact of such effects needs to be further elucidated.

Keywords: Hyperoxia; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Metabolism; Physiologic monitoring; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries* / complications
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxia*
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Microdialysis
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Pyruvic Acid / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Lactic Acid
  • Pyruvic Acid
  • Glucose