OxyFile #95

TI:  Cardiovascular Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide: Current Status

DT:  February 1967

AU:  Harold C. Urschel Jr.

SO:  Diseases of the Chest, Vol. 51. No. 2, pp 180-192

AB:  In an attempt to find a better method for oxygenating 
     tissues which would compare with hyperbaric oxygenation, an 
     intravascular technique of administering oxygen in a 
     regional or systemic system, employing dilute solutions of 
     hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has been evaluated.  Hydrogen 
     peroxide is rapidly degraded to oxygen and water by catalase 
     and peroxidases, enzyme systems present in excess quantities 
     in the blood.  Following H2O2 decomposition in biologic 
     fluids, it was noted that more oxygen was being recovered 
     from such fluids than one would expect from 100 per cent 
     saturation with oxygen at 1 atm.  Experiments revealed this 
     to be a simple supersaturation of a liquid with a gas.  
     Hydrogen peroxide releases dissolved oxygen equivalent to 
     that found in solutions under oxygen at 3-8 atmosphere 
     pressure.  H2O2 administration does not require lung 
     transport.  It can be given continuously over long periods 
     of time, it can be administered by a single physician 
     without expensive equipment and large teams, and it avoids 
     compression-decompression hazards, as well as central 
     nervous system and pulmonary toxicity.  Hydrogen peroxide 
     has been demonstrated to be an adjunctive source of oxygen 
     for the anoxic or ischemic heart and can improve 
     resuscitation in refractile arrhythmias or cardiac arrest.  
     Intra-arterial infusion of H202 has been noted to reverse 
     the atherosclerotic process, potentiate the effect of 
     irradiation on malignant tumors, increase the localization 
     of radioactive isotopes in malignant tumors, protect against 
     Clostridium welchii infections, promote wound healing and 
     serve as an excellent source of regional oxygenation without 
     significant systemic toxicity.