Attenuation of hypoxic ventilation by hyperbaric O2: effects of pressure and exposure time Academic Article uri icon


  • Hyperoxia affects O2 chemoreception in the highly perfused carotid bodies and causes a reduction of the ventilatory hypoxic drive (HD) as was shown for anesthetized cats and awake rats. We looked for a quantitative description of such an effect on HD as a function of both O2 pressure and exposure duration. Ventilation of rats was measured using the barometric method before and after hyperbaric O2 (HBO) exposure, at either air, 80% O2, or 4% O2. We used three exposure durations: 180, 550 and 900 min. The O2 pressure ranged between 1.2 and 3.0 ATA. At each time duration we used four to five groups of rats at a range of O2 pressures that yielded the full scale of effect on HD but avoided obvious lasting difficulties in breathing. HBO caused a reduction of breathing frequency and elevation of tidal volume in both air and 80% O2 but almost no change in minute ventilation. Hypoxic minute ventilation (4% O2) decreased after HBO, mainly through reduced frequency. HD was described by a power function of O2 pressure for each HBO duration. HD did not decline below 20% of the full control response. Ventilatory HD diminution is pictured as a function of both O2 pressure and HBO duration. The dependency of HD on exposure time and on pressure is similar to other known toxic effects of HBO.

author list (cited authors)

  • Liberzon, I., Arieli, R., & Kerem, D.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • February 1989