The aim of the study was to examine the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on lung aeration on an animal experimental model and compare the obtained results with the anticipated scope of damage to pulmonary parenchyma in humans under the same exposure conditions. The research was carried out on Black Hood rats that were kept in a hyperbaric chamber designed for animals in an atmosphere of pure oxygen and at overpressures of 0.15, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5 MPa for 1, 2 or 4 h. After sacrificing the animals, histopathological specimens were obtained encompassing cross-sections of entire lungs, which were subjected to qualitative and quantitative examination with the use of the 121-point Haug grid. A statistically significant decrease in pulmonary parenchyma was observed as a result of an increasing oxygen partial pressure as well as with prolonged exposure time. The intensification of changes observed was much higher than expected on the basis of calculations performed with the use of tables.
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