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Acta Vulnologica 2006 September;4(3):119-28


language: Italian

Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the healing of ulcers

Brustia P. 1, Crespi A. 2, Renghi A. 3, Fassiola A. 3, Villaraggia A. 4

1 S.C. di Chirurgia Vascolare Ospedale Maggiore della Carità, Novara 2 Dipartimento di Chirurgia Generale Ospedale San Rocco, Galliate, Novara 3 CDU – Anestesia 1° Ospedale Maggiore della Carità, Novara 4 Casa di cura “ I Cedri “ Fara Novarese Novara


Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is based on the laws of physics which govern the absorption and spread of gases in the tissues. The hyperbaric oxygen is administered according to the schemes of therapy whose aim is to activate the metabolism without causing side–effects from eccessive dosages. A greater oxygen supply is available because larger amounts are concentrated in the alveoli as hydrostatic pressure varies. Hence the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen treatment in diseases where improved cell metabolism is necessary. In post-ischemic necrosis the supplementary oxygen helps to bring about healing and/or establishes a demarcation between healthy and necrotic areas. On the other hand, the healing of ulcerated tissues is a clear sign of cell metabolism. Among the cells which benefit from the oxygen there are the immune cells due to better phagocytic action by polymorphocytes. To increase the success rate in the different applications of hyperbaric oxygen treatment, a multi-specialist approach is required. The patient’s clinical status must be considered, including any under-lying disease which may influence the treatment for physiologic-anatomical recovery, such as culture tests, in cases of infectious complication (clinical and laboratory evaluation of the complicating factor), currettage, plastic surgery of skin lesions, angioplasty and aorto-coronary bypass surgery. The success of the therapy, in particular cases, for instance, an infected ulcerative disease in a patient with diabetes mellitus and occluded arteriopathy will need the cooperation of different specialists. Clinical cases of ulcers with different localizations and origin are presented.

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