Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a clinical treatment in which a patient breathes pure oxygen for a limited period of time at an increased pressure. Although this therapy has been used for decades to assist wound healing, its efficacy for many conditions is unproven and its mechanism of action is not yet fully clarified. This study investigated the effects of HBOT on wound healing using a diabetes-impaired pressure ulcer rat model. Seven weeks after streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats (n = 55), a pressure ulcer was created on dorsal skin. Subsequently, animals received HBOT during 6 weeks following a standard clinical protocol (HBOT group with varying endpoints up to 42 days post-wounding) versus controls without HBOT. Capillary venous oxygen saturation (SO2) showed a significant increase in the HBOT group on day 24; however, this increase was significant at this time point only. The quantity of hemoglobin in the micro-blood vessels (rHB) showed a significant decrease in the HBOT group on days 21 and 42, and showed a trend to decrease on day 31. Blood flow in the microcirculation showed a significant increase on days 17, 21 and 31 but a significant decrease on days 24 and 28. Inflammation scoring showed significantly decreased CD68 counts in the HBOT group on day 42, but not in the early stages of wound healing. Animals in the HBOT group showed a trend for an increase in mean wound breaking strength on day 42.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177766, hdl.handle.net/1765/100206
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

van Neck, H., Tuk, B., Fijneman, E., Redeker, J.J. (Jonathan J.), Talahatu, E.M. (Edwin M.), & Tong, M. (2017). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for wound healing in diabetic rats: Varying efficacy after a clinically-based protocol. PLoS ONE, 12(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0177766