How is hyperbaric oxygen therapy used to treat central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO)?

Updated: Jun 11, 2019
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew G Lee, MD  more...
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Answer

Early treatment (<2 hours from onset of symptoms) with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy may be associated with increased visual recovery, but HBO therapy can be considered if the duration of visual loss is less than 12 hours.

Inhalation of 100% oxygen at 2 atmospheric absolute provides an arterial pO2 of 1000-1200 mm Hg, resulting in a 3-fold increase in oxygen diffusion distance through ischemic retinal tissues. Some studies show a 40% improvement of 2 or more levels of visual acuity.


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