RETINAL ARTERY OCCLUSION TREATED WITH HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
S. Aisenbrey1, R. Krott1, R. Heller2, D. Kraus2
Acute Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO) is considered as an ophthalmic emergency which requires quick restore of perfusion to the ischemic retina to avoid irreversible visual loss. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is defined as the inhalation of 100% oxygen at a pressure greater than 1.0 bar. We describe our preliminery results of HBO for RAO.
Methods: Eleven patients, 4 women and 7 men, with an average age of 69 years were admitted with the diagnosis of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO, 6 cases) and branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO, 5 cases). The interval from onset to treatment were 4 hours to five days. The HBO (3x30 minutes at 2.4 bar during one session) was applied 3 times at the first day, two times for day 2 and 3 and then one time for at least 4 days.
Results: Visual acuity (VA) of the CRAO group improved in 5 of 6 eyes, only one patient did not show any change in visual function after therapy. VA of the BRAO group improved in all cases. The ETDRS-VA increased for 3 lines (mean value) in the CRAO group and 4.4 lines (mean value) in the BRAO group. Visual field scotomata decreased in all cases. None of these patients had a posttreatment VA worse than at admission.
Conclusions: HBO seems useful in preserving visual function and avoid irreversible visualfield loss when applied within the first 6 hours from the onset of occlusion. Further controlled studies are required to define the beneficial effect of HBO.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Joseph- Stelzmann-Straße 9, D-50924 Cologne1
Baromedical Center Cologne GmbH, Weyertal 76, D-50931 Cologne2