The effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on corneal endothelial structure and anterior segment parameters

Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2023 Dec;42(4):243-247. doi: 10.1080/15569527.2023.2243499. Epub 2023 Aug 9.

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on corneal endothelial structure and anterior segment parameters in healthy eyes.

Methods: 17 eyes of 17 patients who were scheduled to receive HBOT for other than ophthalmologic indications were investigated in this prospective study. Central corneal thickness (CCT) and corneal endothelial properties were evaluated using a specular microscope. Endothelial cell density (ECD), average cell area (AVG), coefficient of variation in cell size (CV), percentage of hexagonal cells (HEX), CCT, intraocular pressure (IOP), spherical equivalent (SE), axial length (AL) and anterior chamber depth (ACD) values were measured before the HBOT, after the 1st session, and after the 20th session of therapy.

Results: 47% of the patients (n = 8) received HBOT because of avascular necrosis, 35% (n = 6) due to sudden hearing loss, 12% (n = 2) for diabetic foot, and 6% (n = 1) for wound infection. The mean IOP was 14,80 mmHg before HBOT, 14,20 mmHg after the 1st session, and 13,73 mmHg after the 20th session. The mean ACD was 3,38 mm before HBOT, 3,34 mm after the 1st session, and 3,16 mm after the 20th session. Although the mean IOP and ACD decreased after HBOT sessions, it was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). A significant reduction was observed in SE values after 20 sessions of HBOT compared to the values measured before HBOT (p = 0,009). The mean ECD was 2572,53 ± 261,51 cells/mm2 before HBOT, 2554,47 ± 236,13 after the 1st session, and 2563,13 ± 226,92 after the 20th session. When the corneal properties measured before and after HBOT sessions were compared, no significant difference was found in terms of CCT, ECD, AVG, CV, and HEX (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: We observed no significant change in CCT, corneal endothelial layer properties, and anterior segment morphology after the 1st session, and after the 20th session of HBOT. Although HBOT reduced IOP and ACD, it was not statistically significant. HBOT may lead to a significant decrease in SE values after the 20th session.

Keywords: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy; corneal endothelial layer; endothelial cell density; intraocular pressure; specular microscope.

MeSH terms

  • Cornea
  • Endothelium, Corneal
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Prospective Studies