HBO in Crohn's disease
Indications are that HBOT is of benefit in the treatment of Crohn's Disease.
Current theory of Crohn's disease pathogenesis implicates genetic susceptibility triggered by environmental factors (microbial agents, toxins). This combination leads to inappropriate inflammatory response in which activated immune and non-immune cells release various inflammatory mediators and toxic molecules (cytokines, cell adhesion molecules, NO, ROMs) resulting in perpetuation of inflammation and tissue injury.
According to vascular hypothesis, endothelial dysfunction plays a central role in initiating and perpetuating inflammation. Vascular injury is a prominent feature of Crohn's disease caused by various mechanisms leading to tissue ischemia and damage (necrosis). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is thought to restore tissue hypoxia, down-regulate inflammation and promote tissue repair.
Uncontrolled clinical studies have utilized Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as adjunctive modality in severe perianal Crohn's disease with encouraging results. HBO limits the amount of inflammation in the bowels, lowers the CRP values, lowers Sedimentation values and lowers the WBC values. The pain is alleviated, the patient's weight improves, and bowel movements return almost to normal.
Although the mechanism is not clearly understood, HBO should be considered in treatment of Crohn's Disease not responding to conventional treatments
Further study is needed.