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The effect of adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in patients with central retinal artery occlusion

Purpose: Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is an ophthalmic emergency with poor prognosis, despite diligent conventional treatment. According to the clinical recommendations of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) is a potentially beneficial treatment; however, the benefit of adjunctive HBO2 in patients with CRAO in Korea remains unclear. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of adjunctive HBO2 in patients with CRAO.

Methods: This registry-based observational study included adult patients who presented to the emergency department or ophthalmology outpatient department within 24 hours of the onset of CRAO symptoms. Data of patients from October 2016 to February 2019 were analyzed. The patients were categorized into two groups according to the use of adjunctive HBO2: no HBO2 and HBO2.

Result: During the study period, 34 consecutive patients were enrolled, of which 19 were included in the study. In the total cohort, 10 patients (52.6%) were treated with adjunctive HBO2. There were no statistically significant differences in terms of age, sex, comorbidities, duration from symptoms onset to hospital visit, presence of the cilioretinal artery, and use of anterior chamber paracentesis between the two groups. The HBO2 group showed significantly higher change in best-corrected visual acuity than the no-HBO2 group (p=0.043).

Conclusion: Patients with CRAO in the HBO2 group showed significantly greater visual improvement than those in the no HBO2 group. Clinicians should consider adjunctive HBO2 in the treatment approach in patients with CRAO who visit the hospital within 24 hours of symptoms onset. 

DOI: 10.22462/01.03.2020.7