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Exposure to alternating hypoxia and hyperoxia causes severe proliferative retinopathy in the newborn rat.

Penn JS, Henry MM, Tolman BL
Pediatr Res. 1994 36 (6): 724-31

PMID: 7898981 · DOI:10.1203/00006450-199412000-00007

Exposure to variable hyperoxia has recently been shown to be much more effective at producing proliferative retinopathy in the newborn rat than exposure to constant hyperoxia. To incorporate a more clinically relevant oxygen-exposure paradigm in our studies, we have now used a cycle between 50 and 10% oxygen and have compared its effects with those found using new exposures to the previously used 80/40% cycle. Starting at birth and continuing for 14 d, rats were exposed to environments that cycled between 50 and 10% oxygen or 80 and 40% oxygen every 24 h. After exposure, some rats were killed for assessment of retinal vascular development. Others were removed to room air for 4 d before killing and evaluation for the presence of abnormal neovascularization--a clinical consequence believed to be promoted by termination of oxygen therapy. The 50/10% cycle resulted in greater retardation of retinal blood vessel development during oxygen than that found in the 80/40% exposure group. After 4 d postexposure in room air, the incidence of preretinal neovascularization was 97% in the 50/10% rats and 72% in the 80/40% group. Clearly, the overall amount of oxygen the subject receives is less critical than other parameters of its administration in producing proliferative retinopathy. Also, the range of variation (40% in both cases) is not the controlling characteristic. Our results suggest that consistency of oxygen level and avoidance of hypoxic levels should be important concerns in neonatal oxygen therapy.

MeSH Terms (10)

Animals Animals, Newborn Humans Infant, Newborn Oxygen Partial Pressure Rats Rats, Sprague-Dawley Retinal Vessels Retinopathy of Prematurity

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