Experimental effects

The effects of HBO on arterial blood pressure have also been controversial. Although many authors have observed an increase in systolic and diastolic arterial pressure (Whitehorn16, Alveryd & Brody17), other authors found no alteration or non-significant changes (Richards & Barach18 Behnke19). Behnke20 even considered the increase in blood pressure to be a sign of oxygen toxicity.

In a study including 20 volunteer healthy subjects, Kenmure21, only observed a small and not statistically significant increase of the mean arterial pressure, but this was combined with a significant 15% increase in systemic arterial resistance. More importantly, the increase in systemic arterial resistance was observed in oxygen at 1 ata and increased only very slightly and insignificantly in oxygen at 2 ata. Dooley & Mehn22 confirmed these observations. In 11 healthy volunteers randomly breathing either air at 1 ata, O2 at 1 ata, O2 at 2 ata and O2 at 3 ata, they observed a significant increase in mean arterial pressure related to peripheral vasoconstriction (assessed by arm/ankle ratio of arterial pressure) in the group breathing O2 at 1 ata. However, breathing oxygen at 2 ata or 3 ata did not provide a significant further effect.

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