• Breathing high concentrations of oxygen at atmospheric pressure has been promptly effective in achieving objective and subjective relief in pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis. Two patients were treated with 70% oxygen supplied through a nonrebreathing mask. During meals, oxygen was given at 5 liters/min by nasal cannula.
Under these conditions, the partial pressures of oxygen and nitrogen are altered substantially; however, the total content of oxygen in the blood is changed only slightly, particularly at the venous end of the capillary. Pneumatosis cyst deflation is believed due primarily to the gradient of the partial pressures of nitrogen.
Because of the possibility of oxygen toxicity, further studies are important to evaluate the continued benefit of this therapy and to determine the minimum effective oxygen requirement.
(Arch Surg 112:62-64, 1977)