Assessment of insulin sensitivity during hyperbaric oxygen treatment

David Wilkinson, Suzy Szekely, Brian Gue, Charmaine S. Tam, Ian Chapman, Leonie K. Heilbronn

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INTRODUCTION: Previous studies using a hyperinsulinaemic, euglycaemic glucose clamp have demonstrated an increase in peripheral insulin sensitivity in men with and without Type-2 diabetes mellitus on the third and thirtieth hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) session. In two studies using different techniques for assessment of insulin sensitivity, we investigated the onset and duration of this insulin-sensitising effect of HBOT. METHODS: Men who were obese or overweight but without diabetes were recruited. One study performed a hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic glucose clamp (80 mU.m-2.min-1) at baseline and during the first HBOT exposure (n = 9) at a pressure of 203 kPa. Data were analysed by paired t-test. The other study assessed insulin sensitivity by a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT) at three time points: baseline, during the third HBOT and 24-hours post-HBOT (n = 9). Results were analysed by repeated-measures ANOVA. RESULTS: There was a significant 23% increase in insulin sensitivity by clamp measured during the first HBOT exposure. The FSIGT showed no significant changes in insulin sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: The hyperinsulinaemic, euglycaemic glucose clamp demonstrated a significant increase in peripheral insulin sensitivity during a single, 2-hour HBOT session in a group of men who were obese or overweight but without diabetes. As an alternate technique for assessing insulin sensitivity during HBOT, the FSIGT failed to show any changes during the third HBOT and 24-hours later, however modification of the study protocol should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalDiving and hyperbaric medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 30 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrinology
  • Hyperbaric research
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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