Cerebral blood flow and brain oxygenation in rats breathing oxygen under pressure

Ivan T. Demchenko, Yuriy I. Luchakov, Alexander N. Moskvin, Diana R. Gutsaeva, Barry W. Allen, Edward D. Thalmann, Claude A. Piantadosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) increases oxygen tension (PO 2) in blood but reduces blood flow by means of O2-induced vasoconstriction. Here we report the first quantitative evaluation of these opposing effects on tissue PO2 in brain, using anesthetized rats exposed to HBO2 at 2 to 6 atmospheres absolute (ATA). We assessed the contribution of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) to brain PO2 as inspired PO2 (PiO2) exceeds 1 ATA. We measured rCBF and local PO2 simultaneously in striatum using collocated platinum electrodes. Cerebral blood flow was computed from H2 clearance curves in vivo and PO2 from electrodes calibrated in vitro, before and after insertion. Arterial PCO2 was controlled, and body temperature, blood pressure, and EEG were monitored. Scatter plots of rCBF versus PO 2 were nonlinear (R2=0.75) for rats breathing room air but nearly linear (R2=0.88-0.91) for O2 at 2 to 6 ATA. The contribution of rCBF to brain PO2 was estimated at constant inspired PO2, by increasing rCBF with acetazolamide (AZA) or decreasing it with N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). At basal rCBF (78 mL/100 g min), local PO2 increased 7- to 33-fold at 2 to 6 ATA, compared with room air. A doubling of rCBF increased striatal PO2 not quite two-fold in rats breathing room air but 13- to 64-fold in those breathing HBO2 at 2 to 6 ATA. These findings support our hypothesis that HBO2 increases PO2 in brain in direct proportion to rCBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1288-1300
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Hyperbaric oxygenation
  • Tissue oxygen tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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