Hyperbaric oxygen treatment for air or gas embolism.

Published

Journal Article (Review)

Gas can enter arteries (arterial gas embolism) due to alveolar-capillary disruption (caused by pulmonary overpressurization, e.g., breath-hold ascent by divers) or veins (venous gas embolism, VGE) as a result of tissue bubble formation due to decompression (diving, altitude exposure) or during certain surgical procedures where capillary hydrostatic pressure at the incision site is sub-atmospheric. Both AGE and VGE can be caused by iatrogenic gas injection. AGE usually produces strokelike manifestations, such as impaired consciousness, confusion, seizures and focal neurological deficits. Small amounts of VGE are often tolerated due to filtration by pulmonary capillaries. However, VGE can cause pulmonary edema, cardiac "vapor lock" and AGE due to transpulmonary passage or right-to-left shunt through a patent foramen ovale. Intravascular gas can cause arterial obstruction or endothelial damage and secondary vasospasm and capillary leak. Vascular gas is frequently not visible with radiographic imaging, which should not be used to exclude the diagnosis of AGE. Isolated VGE usually requires no treatment; AGE treatment is similar to decompression sickness (DCS), with first aid oxygen then hyperbaric oxygen. Although cerebral AGE (CAGE) often causes intracranial hypertension, animal studies have failed to demonstrate a benefit of induced hypocapnia. An evidence-based review of adjunctive therapies is presented.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moon, RE

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 159 - 166

PubMed ID

  • 24851554

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24851554

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1066-2936

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States