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News

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be an efficacious therapy for IBD

A study published in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics quantifies the safety and efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) provides 100% oxygen under pressure, which increases tissue oxygen levels, relieves hypoxia and alters inflammatory pathways.

Although there is experience using HBOT in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the safety and overall efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown.

Dr Corey Siegel and colleagues from the United Kingdom quantified the safety and efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

The rate of adverse events with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for IBD was compared to the expected rate of adverse events with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Collaboration and Web of Knowledge were systematically searched using the PRISMA standards for systematic reviews.

The research team identified 17 studies involving 613 patients.
In ulcerative colitis, the overall response rate to hyperbaric oxygen therapy was 100%
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The team noted that the overall response rate was 86%.

The overall response rate for perineal Crohn's disease was 88%.

Of the 40 ulcerative colitis patients with endoscopic follow-up reported, the overall response rate to hyperbaric oxygen therapy was 100%.

During the 8924 treatments, the team found a total of 9 adverse events, 6 of which were serious.

The team observed that the rate of adverse events with hyperbaric oxygen therapy in IBD is lower than that seen when utilizing HBOT for other indications.

The risk of bias across studies was high.

Dr Siegel and team conclude, "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively safe and potentially efficacious treatment option for IBD patients."

"To understand the true benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in IBD, well-controlled, blinded, randomized trials are needed for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014: 39(11): 1266–1275
14 May 2014

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