Friday, August 19, 2005


I am looking for a treatment for CRVO - Central Retinal Vein Occlusion in my left eye. Through a CRVO support group on the internet, I have found that HBOT helps in some cases.

Our Answer:

There have been reports of benefit from HBOT for CRVO .
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment combined with a blood vessel widening drug
(vasodilator) has been shown to improve visual function among individuals
experiencing retinal artery occlusion. (European Journal Ophthalmology 3;
89-94, 1993)

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has been successfully used to improve vision
among patients with retinal swelling (macular edema) and retinal vein
occlusion. (Survey of Ophthalmology 39; 347-66, 1995)

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has been administered successfully to patients
with central retinal swelling (macular edema) resulting from retinal vein
occlusion. Among 12 patients who were treated, 10 experienced visual
improvement, with median visual acuity improving from 20/100 to 20/25. The
hyperbaric oxygen treatment is believed to constrict retinal capillaries and
thus decrease leakage of fluid that causes edema. (Ophthalmologica 210;
168-170, 1996)

Treatment of CRVO with hyperbaric oxygenation is an off label indication
[not Medicare approved] and it might be difficult to find a local chamber
who would be willing to treat you. However, I'll ask around and try to find
someone who may know where you can be evaluated and possibly get treatment
and get back with you.

Best regards:

Ernie Campbell

Letter from Dr. Frank Butler:

Don't have any personal experience with treating CRVO with HBO. You have done a very nice job of summarizing the current literature. I'd add just one thing - if I had a patienet with an ACUTE (less than 4 hours old) CRVO - I would try recompressing them. Absolutely no data to support this (yet), but it might have some merit. After 4-6 hours without oxygen, the retina suffers ischemic damage that is ot reversible.