Background: To determine the beneficial effects of adjuvant hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) in an experimental compartment syndrome model.
Methods: Twenty Wistar albino male rats, weighing between 270-325 g. were divided into four groups as: Control, Fasciotomy, HBO and HBO-Fasciotomy. Rear legs of all animals were strangulated with a tourniquet for 4 hours. Fasciotomy was performed by double incisions. HBO protocol was set as: 6 sessions/day in the first two days, 4 sessions/ day in the 3rd and 4th days. The intra-compartmental pressure and leg volume in all groups were measured daily. The legs of the sacrificed animals underwent histopathological examination.
Results: Fasciotomy was more effective than HBO to decrease leg volume and intra-compartmental pressure. The combination of HBO and fasciotomy was more effective than the single application of HBO and fasciotomy. The findings of inflammation and necrosis were less in the HBO group when compared with the fasciotomy and HBO-fasciotomy groups. This result was attributed to the higher risk of infection and mechanical damage in the groups with fasciotomy.
Conclusion: Adjuvant HBO is beneficial in the treatment of compartment syndrome.