Systematic review: The safety and efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for inflammatory bowel disease

P S Dulai, M W Gleeson, D Taylor, S D Holubar, J C Buckey, C A Siegel
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2014, 39 (11): 1266-75

BACKGROUND: 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 HBOT in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown.

AIM: To quantify the safety and efficacy of HBOT for Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The rate of adverse events with HBOT for IBD was compared to the expected rate of adverse events with HBOT.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Collaboration and Web of Knowledge were systematically searched using the PRISMA standards for systematic reviews. Seventeen studies involving 613 patients (286 CD, 327 UC) were included.

RESULTS: The overall response rate was 86% (85% CD, 88% UC). The overall response rate for perineal CD was 88% (18/40 complete healing, 17/40 partial healing). Of the 40 UC patients with endoscopic follow-up reported, the overall response rate to HBOT was 100%. During the 8924 treatments, there were a total of nine adverse events, six of which were serious. The rate of adverse events with HBOT in IBD is lower than that seen when utilising HBOT for other indications (P < 0.01). The risk of bias across studies was high.

CONCLUSIONS: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively safe and potentially efficacious treatment option for IBD patients. To understand the true benefit of HBOT in IBD, well-controlled, blinded, randomised trials are needed for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.