In badly perfused and non healing wounds (e.g. diabetic gangrene, compartment syndrome) it is tried to improve tissue oxygenation by treatment in high pressure oxygen chambers. By administration of hyperbaric oxygen more oxygen is physically dissolved in blood and this increased arterial oxygen content should improve oxygen supply of tissue. One problem of the success of this treatment is auto regulation of the vessels, that result in vasoconstriction during increased arterial oxygen partial pressure. This can decrease blood flow to organs and therefore decrease oxygen supply to tissue.
First measurements show the complex regulation of the perfusion parameters during normobaric and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The effect of increased arterial pO2 on the capillary-venous oxygen saturation, that means oxygen saturation in the critically supplied corner, can be shown.
Figure1: pO2 measured with a subcutaneous pO2 electrode, oxygen saturation and blood flow after 15 minutes administration of 100% oxygen in healthy volunteers