A case of xenon inhalation therapy for respiratory failure and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with COVID-19

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Vladimir Vasil'evich Udut
Sergei Alexandrovich Naumov
Diana Nikolaevna Evtushenko
Elena Vladimirovna Udut
Sergei Sergeevich Naumov
Gleb Nikolaevich Zyuz'kov


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the main danger to the life of patients with pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, respiratory failure (RF) after ARDS can persist for a long time despite intensive therapy. Therefore, it is important to develop new effective approaches for restoring the ventilation function of the lungs after COVID-19. Here, we present a case report of effective application of short-term inhalations of xenon-oxygen (Xe/O2) gas mixture for treatment of RF and neuropsychiatric disorders (NPD) associated with COVID-19. The patient inhaled a gas mixture of 70 % Xe and 30 % O2. We used multispiral computed tomography, evaluated psychometry, studied hematological and biochemical blood parameters, and applied some other methods of clinical studies to assess the therapeutic effectiveness of Xe inhalation. Also, we studied the mechanism of action of xenon with computer modeling. The clinical case showed the high efficacy of Xe/O2 mixture for treating severe RF and NPD after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Xenon inhalations dramatically increased oxygen saturation and the degree of pneumatization of the lungs. We found out that in coronavirus pneumonia, saturated phospholipids of surfactant are transferred to the solid-ordered phase, which disrupts the surface tension of the alveoli and alveolar gas exchange. Using molecular modeling methods, we demonstrated that the xenon atom increases the distance between the acyl chains of phospholipids due to the van der Waals dispersion interaction. These changes allow for the phase transition of phospholipids from the solid-ordered phase to the liquid phase and restore the functional activity of the surfactant. The findings suggest the feasibility of conducting studies on the effectiveness of Xe/O2 inhalations for treating ARDS in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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How to Cite
Udut, V. V., Naumov, S. A., Evtushenko, D. N., Udut, E. V., Naumov, S. S., & Zyuz’kov, G. N. (2021). A case of xenon inhalation therapy for respiratory failure and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with COVID-19. EXCLI Journal, 20, 1517-1525. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2021-4316
Case reports