The effect of hyperbaric oxygen on symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma -


Wolf, G., D. Cifu, L. Baugh, W. Carne and L. Profenna.



In this single-center, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, prospective trial at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, the effects of 2.4 atmospheres absolute (ATA) hyperbaric oxygen (HBO(2)) on post-concussion symptoms in 50 military service members with at least one combat-related, mild traumatic brain injury were examined. Each subject received 30 sessions of either a sham compression (room air at 1.3 ATA) or HBO(2) treatments at 2.4 ATA over an 8-week period. Individual and total symptoms scores on Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT(R)) and composite scores on Post-traumatic Disorder Check List-Military Version (PCL-M) were measured just prior to intervention and 6 weeks after completion of intervention. Difference testing of post-intervention means between the sham-control and HBO(2) group revealed no significant differences on the PCL-M composite score (t=-0.205, p=0.84) or on the ImPACT total score (t=-0.943, p=0.35), demonstrating no significant effect for HBO(2) at 2.4 ATA. PCL-M composite scores and ImPACT total scores for sham-control and HBO(2) groups revealed significant improvement over the course of the study for both the sham-control group (t=3.76, p=0.001) and the HBO(2) group (t=3.90, p=0.001), demonstrating no significant HBO(2) effect. Paired t-test results revealed 10 ImPACT scale scores in the sham-control group improved from pre- to post-testing, whereas two scale scores significantly improved in the HBO(2) group. One PCL-M measure improved from pre- to post-testing in both groups. This study showed that HBO(2) at 2.4 ATA pressure had no effect on post-concussive symptoms after mild TBI.

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