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Effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on chronic neurocognitive deficits of post-traumatic brain injury patients: retrospective analysis
  1. Amir Hadanny1,2,3,4,
  2. Stefanie Abbott2,
  3. Gil Suzin2,
  4. Yair Bechor2,
  5. Shai Efrati2,4,5,6
  1. 1 Neurosurgery Department, Galilee Medical Center, Nahariya, Israel
  2. 2 Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel
  3. 3 Galilee Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
  4. 4 Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  5. 5 Research and Development Unit, Assaf Harfoeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel
  6. 6 Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amir Hadanny; amir.had{at}


Objectives The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in participants suffering from chronic neurological deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) of all severities in the largest cohort evaluated so far with objective cognitive function tests and metabolic brain imaging.

Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted of 154 patients suffering from chronic neurocognitive damage due to TBI, who had undergone computerised cognitive evaluations pre-HBOT and post-HBOT treatment.

Results The average age was 42.7±14.6 years, and 58.4% were men. All patients had documented TBI 0.3–33 years (mean 4.6±5.8, median 2.75 years) prior to HBOT. HBOT was associated with significant improvement in all of the cognitive domains, with a mean change in global cognitive scores of 4.6±8.5 (p<0.00001). The most prominent improvements were in memory index and attention, with mean changes of 8.1±16.9 (p<0.00001) and 6.8±16.5 (p<0.0001), respectively. The most striking changes observed in brain single photon emission computed tomography images were in the anterior cingulate and the postcentral cortex, in the prefrontal areas and in the temporal areas.

Conclusions In the largest published cohort of patients suffering from chronic deficits post-TBI of all severities, HBOT was associated with significant cognitive improvements. The clinical improvements were well correlated with increased activity in the relevant brain areas.

  • TBI
  • HBOT
  • traumatic brain injury
  • hyperbaric oxygen
  • cognitive

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  • Contributors AH: concept, data collection, data analysis, manuscript draft and manuscript review. SA: data collection and data analysis. GS, YB: data collection and manuscript review. SE: concept, data analysis, manuscript draft and manuscript review.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Data collected retrospectively were anonymised.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the institutional review board of Assaf Harfoeh Medical Center, Israel.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Extra data are available by emailing

  • Presented at EUBS 2017, EANS 2017