Risk factors

Only short-term evidence for HBOT in foot ulcers


There is some evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve the healing of diabetic foot ulcers in the short term, but no evidence it prevents amputations, a Cochrane review concludes.

The review of 12 randomised trials found that HBOT significantly improved diabetic foot ulcers at six weeks, but this benefit was not evident at longer term follow up of one year or longer.

There was no evidence that HBOT increases the healing of venous ulcers, arterial or pressure ulcers, the Wound Group reported.

Furthermore HBOT did not appear to significantly improve the minor amputation rate in people with foot ulcers due to diabetes, while a potentially important effect on major amputation could not be confirmed.

“More trials are needed to properly evaluate HBOT in people with chronic wounds; these trials must be adequately powered and designed to minimise all kinds of bias,” the group concluded.

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