Inhalation of hydrogen gases in acute cerebral infarctionScientific Research


Hydrogen Gas Inhalation Treatment in Acute Cerebral Infarction: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Study on Safety and Neuroprotection

Abstract

Background

Molecular hydrogen (H2) acts as a therapeutic antioxidant. In several animal studies, inhalation of H2 gas (1-4%) was effective in improving cerebral infarction. Therefore, for practical application, randomized controlled clinical trials are needed to evaluate the effect of H2 gas inhalation. Here, we evaluate H2 for the treatment of acute cerebral infarction.

Methods

Through this randomized controlled clinical trial, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of H2 therapy in patients with acute-phase cerebral infarction with mild to moderate National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score (NIHSS =2-6) . We recruited 50 patients (25 each in the H2 and control groups) with a treatment window of 6 to 24 hours. The H2 group received 3% H2 gas inhalation (twice a day, 1 hour each time), and the control group received conventional intravenous drug therapy for the first 7 days.The evaluations included daily vital signs, NIHSS scores, physical therapy indices, weekly blood chemistry, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans over the 2-week study period.

Results

The H2 group showed no significant adverse effects with improvements in oxygen saturation. The following significant effects were found: the relative signal intensity of MRI, which indicated the severity of the infarction site, NIHSS scores for clinically quantifying stroke severity, and physical therapy evaluation, as judged by the Barthel Index.

Conclusions

H2 treatment was safe and effective in patients with acute cerebral infarction. These results suggested a potential for widespread and general application of H2 gas.

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