Knowledge of the impact of hyperbaric conditions, especially hyperbaric oxygen, on human and animal organisms, is of great theoretical and practical importance, particularly in reference to the increased application of hyperbaric oxygen for therapeutic purposes. It must be said that unfortunately our knowledge on the impact of hyperbaria, including oxygen hyperbaria, on the immunological response of the animal and human organisms is still not sufficient and is incomplete. The Institute of the Naval Medicine of the Naval Academy in Gdynia has been carrying out tests in this field for some years now. The tests have been carried out on animals (rabbits, guinea pigs) as well as on humans (commercial divers, scuba divers, and candidates to these activities) within immunology investigations. The impact of hyperbaric oxygen at pressures ranging between 2.8 and 3.1 ata, in single or multiple expositions, have been tested as well as the relations between hyperbaria in air and the different conditions of the exposure.The study revealed important shifts in the immunological response of both the animals and humans.
Władysław Wolański, Kazimierz Ulewicz and Brunon Kierznikowicz
The article presents the results of research into the therapeutic effect of hyperbaric oxygenation on bacterial infections performed on an animal model. The studies were performed on Porton mice infected intraperitoneally with haemolysing streptococci and later subjected, over a 3-day period, to 5 exposures of hyperbaric oxygenation at a pressure of 2.8 ata. Depending on the research group, the treatment was commenced after 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours from the moment of infection. Some of the animals died during the experiment.8 and 12 days from the date of infection, selected animals of each group were put to death and subjected to post mortem examination. A statistically significant positive effect of hyperbaric treatment on the survival rate, as well as on the development of complications (liver abscesses), was observed in those animals where the hyperbaric oxygenation was applied at an early stage. In groups where the therapy was initiated later, no positive effect was noted, and the complications tended to develop more rapidly.
Kazimierz Ulewicz, Przemysław Michniewski, Brunon Kierznikowicz, Bogdan Łokucijewski and Jan Stencel
Hyperbaric oxygenation therapy has found its application in the treatment of various types of burns. The presented work describes the use of this method in treating napalm burns in experimental animals. The researchers took particular interest in the immunological reactions occurring in animals, as well as the effect of the said therapy on the healing process.
Two groups of rabbits, previously anaesthetised with Evipan and immunised with S. typhi phage F7 microorganisms, were burnt with the use of napalm. The tested group was subjected to a series of treatment sessions with 100% oxygen at the pressure of 2 atm, whereas the control group did not undergo such treatment. Six repeated tests on complement activity with 50% haemolysis method and heamagglutination reaction quantification with antigens O and H S.typhi phage F7 were carried out on all of the researched animals. Moreover, for the purpose of control of the healing process, a number of histopathological exams on the burn wounds were conducted in both groups of rabbits.
The research showed an increase in complement activity in all tested animals; however, in the tested group it occurred later. Histopathological tests confirmed a more advanced healing process in the group subjected to hyperbaric oxygenation.
Tadeusz Doboszyński, Kazimierz Ulewicz, Bogdan Łokucijewski and Przemysław Michniewski
Hyperbaric oxygen toxicity studies were conducted on rabbits using the opsonic index determination.The study was conducted on 15 animals that had opsonin index examined prior to hyperbaric oxygen exposure. They were then subjected to an hourly exposure to hyperbaric oxygen with overpressure values of 1.8, 2.4 and 3.1 atm in groups of 5 animals. After the exposure, the opsonium index was re-examined upon the lapse of 1, 2 and 10 days. Parallelly, the morphological image of the blood was examined.There was a statistically significant increase in the index in the first two days after exposure, independent of the value of oxygen overpressure. On the 10th day, the index value approached the initial one.
Kazimierz Ulewicz, Janusz Masłowski, Przemysław Michniewski, Brunon Kierznikowicz and Romuald Olszański
The authors conducted the preliminary clinical investigation on 16 multiple sclerosis (Sclerosis multiplex) patients of median disease duration 9.33 years and symptoms evaluated on Kurtzke’s scale. The patients underwent between 25 and 30 hyperbaric oxygen exposures at a pressure of 2 ata in intervals spread over a few days. The patients were qualified and classified to the treatment symptomatologically according to Fisher but the obtained results were evaluated according to the standardised Disability Status Scale by Kurtzke. During the investigations the authors carried out additional quantitative immunoglobulin and complement activity determination, lymphocyte T and B determinations as well as the usually applied clinical and laboratory investigations. Evident clinical improvement was observed in 14 patients, but in the case of one patient a deterioration was observed after 15 hyperbaric expositions (resulting in the hyperbaric oxygen treatment being stopped), whilst in another case no curative effect could be observed. By utilising the 50% haemolysis method, within the examined immunological parameters the authors observed an increase of complement fractions and its activity, white lymphocytes T and B examined qualitatively did not maintain the characteristic shift. The authors are still discussing the obtained results.