Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Bruce Spiess


Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning represents a global health threat responsible for hundreds of thousands of hospital visits and tens of thousands of deaths annually. Oxygen therapy is the only current approved treatment for CO poisoning. Previous work published in the 1970’s and research conducted in the VCURES lab group has indicated that a reduced form of vitamin B12, hydroxocobalamin (B12r), can potentially serve as an antidote for CO poisoning by converting CO bound to hemoglobin to carbon dioxide (CO2) and mitigating the deleterious neurological effects of CO poisoning. For the first time in documented literature we successfully used a Clark-type polarographic oxygen-sensitive electrode to demonstrate CO-induced decreases in brain tissue oxygen tension in anesthetized rats. Additionally, we demonstrated that B12r is capable of rescuing this CO-induced hypoxia and hypotension within 15 minutes of intraperitoneal administration with no adverse effects on blood chemistry.


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