Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hyperbaric Oxygen for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Systematic Review of the Medical Literature

We are loath to recommend the work of such a controversial figure as Dr Daniel Rossignol. But his new systematic review and analysis of the medical literature on hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for inflammatory bowel disease is very helpful indeed.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract, includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Rossignol's review includes both human and animal models, touches on some of the physiologic mechanisms that may (or may not) be involved, and finds the published clinical evidence for HBOT stronger for Crohn's than for ulcerative colitis:

In the studies of Crohn's disease, 78% of treated patients had an improvement with HBOT at a pressure ranging from 2.0 to 2.8 ATA. In the studies of ulcerative colitis, all treated patients showed improvements with a pressure delivered at 2.0 ATA. These studies suggest that a higher pressure may be needed to achieve these improvements. However, because none of these studies utilized a lower pressure of HBOT, it is not known if a lower pressure or oxygen level would be beneficial in IBD. However, some investigators have reported improvements in GI function in some children with autism using HBOT at 1.3 to 1.5 ATA [117,118]. Furthermore, previous studies have reported improvements in certain neurological conditions using hyperbaric treatment at lower pressures and/or oxygen levels [119-122]. Additional studies using HBOT at varying oxygen concentrations and atmospheric pressures would be helpful in determining optimal treatment protocols.

This self-serving argument and the mild HBOT studies cited, 117-122, including Rossignol's own widely discredited autism study, significantly weaken an otherwise fine review of the medical literature on this important topic.

[Image: findingDulcinea]

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