Hyperbaric oxygen for late sequelae of carbon monoxide poisoning enhances neurological recovery: Case report

Lon W. Keim, Sreekanth Koneru, Vesper Fe Marie Ramos, Najib Murr, Deborah S. Hoffnung, Daniel L. Murman, Jeffrey S. Cooper, Diego Torres-Russotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Neuropsychiatric sequelae have been reported in 15%-45% of survivors of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy reduces the incidence of cognitive and neurological a dysfunction. The efficacy of providing HBO2 beyond the first one to two days after initial insult is unknown. However, some evidence exists for the benefit of this treatment. We report on treating a patient 14 months after CO injury, who responded with markedly improved neurologic status. A 27-year-old scholar was found comatose due to CO poisoning (carboxyhemoglobin = 31.7%). He received five acute HBO2 treatments. After discharge, he developed chorea, Parkinsonism, dystonia, memory loss, slowed processing speed and verbal fluency, leaving him disabled. After the patient reached a clinical plateau, HBO2 was tried again at 90 minutes at 2.4 ATA plus air breaks. Neuropsychological testing was performed at baseline and after each 20 HBO2 cycles, five of which were performed during the period from 14-22 months after CO exposure. After the first 20 treatments, Parkinsonism and dystonia improved. After 40 sessions, further improvements were seen on mental speed, verbal fluency, and fine motor movements. The outcome following 100 treatments was that the patient regained independence, including the ability to drive and to become gainfully employed. Our case calls into question the concept that HBO2 therapy has no role during the chronic phase of CO brain injury. Randomized clinical trials should be considered to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of HBO2 in patients with neurological sequelae following CO injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalUndersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • delay to treatment
  • hyperbaric oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this