The effects of carbogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen on noise-induced hearing loss

Mark Hatch, Mary Tsai, Michael J. LaRouere, Alfred L. Nuttall, Josef M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


An investigation into the effect of Carbogen (95% O2/5% CO2), 5% CO2/air, and 100% oxygen on cochlear threshold shifts caused by noise was undertaken. Five groups of eight pigmented guinea pigs were exposed to 105 dB broad band noise for 6 h per day for five consecutive days with each group receiving the various gaseous mixtures either during noise exposure or for 1 h immediately after noise exposure. A control group received the same noise exposure but respired air. Auditory threshold shifts, as measured by the auditory evoked brainstem response, were measured at 2,4,8,12,16, 20 and 24 kHz. Recordings were taken pre-exposure and at Day 1, 3, 5, and Weeks 2 and 3 after noise exposure. Carbogen, given during noise exposure, resulted in a trend toward less post noise exposure threshold shift (as compared to controls) which reached statistical significance by Week 3 at all frequencies except 2 and 20 kHz. Subjects given Carbogen after exposure also showed a general trend toward decreased noise induced threshold shifts, as compared to controls, but this was not statistically significant. The mixture of 5% CO2 /air given during noise exposure yielded no difference in threshold shifts as compared to controls. When 100% oxygen was administered during noise exposure, a marked decrease in noise induced threshold shifts could be seen as compared to controls, with differences reaching statistical significance by day 5 at most frequencies. These results indicate that oxygen (i.e. cochlear-oxygenation) is a more important factor than CO2 (i.e., as a vasodilator) in protection of the cochlea from noise induced damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Guinea pig
  • Temperature
  • Temporary threshold shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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