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March 1965

The Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygenation on Retinal Arterial Occlusion

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology (Dr. Anderson), Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dr. Saltzman), and Professor of Neurology (Dr. Heyman), Duke University School of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(3):315-319. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030317004

The inhalation of 100% oxygen at high atmospheric pressures is associated with a great increase in oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and produces a significant prolongation of visual function after occlusion of the retinal circulation by ophthalmodynamometric pressure on the eye.1,2 It is not known, however, whether such hyperbaric oxygenation prevents or reverses the effects of retinal arterial occlusive disease. A significant reproducible improvement has been observed following inhalation of 100% oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure in three of four patients with this illness.3 The present report describes the clinical and ophthalmologic findings following hyperbaric oxygenation in three patients with retinal arterial occlusive disease, caused by embolism or thrombosis of the central retinal artery or its branches.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 51-year-old white male textile worker entered the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital with the complaint of numbness of the left hand and transient

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