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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 105069, 4 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Kidneys in a Rat Model

Pediatric Division, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center, Affiliated to the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, 70300 Zerifin, Israel

Received 15 June 2014; Accepted 30 July 2014; Published 10 August 2014

Academic Editor: Monica Rocco

Copyright © 2014 Matitiahu Berkovitch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used for treating various medical conditions. As far as known yet, HBOT is safe with few major side effects that are easy to avoid using a proper protocol. Renal tubular damage was observed in rats exposed to HBOT in a preliminary study conducted in our institution. Aim. We aim to assess whether HBOT causes renal damage and, if so, whether this is dose dependent. Methods. Thirty-one rats were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group received 10-days HBOT, 100% oxygen at a pressure of 2 atmospheres absolute (2 ATA) for 60 minutes/day, the second received the same treatment for 5 days and the third served as the control. Rat weight, survival, renal function tests, and renal histopathology were analyzed. Results. There were no significant changes in renal function tests in the plasma (cystatin C, urea, creatinine, and electrolytes) between the groups. No significant differences were observed in weight gain or renal histopathological evaluation between all groups. Conclusion. HBOT in this protocol does not cause renal impairment in a rat model, which reinforces the assumption that HBOT is safe in healthy rats, regarding renal function. Further research should be focused on the effect/safety of HBOT on nonhealthy kidneys.