Diabet Med 2019 Apr 19. Epub 2019 Apr 19.
Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease, College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.
Aim: To examine the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in healing diabetes-related lower limb ulcers through a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
Methods: A literature search was conducted to identify appropriate clinical trials. Inclusion required randomized study design and reporting of the proportion of diabetes-related lower limb ulcers that healed. A meta-analysis was performed to examine the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on ulcer healing. The secondary outcomes were minor and major amputations.
Results: Nine randomized trials involving 585 participants were included. People allocated to hyperbaric oxygen therapy were more likely to have complete ulcer healing (relative risk 1.95, 95% CI 1.51-2.52; P<0.001), and less likely to require major (relative risk 0.54, 95% CI 0.36-0.81; P=0.003) or minor (relative risk 0.68, 95% CI 0.48-0.98; P=0.040) amputations than control groups. Sensitivity analyses suggested the findings were dependent on the inclusion of one trial. Adverse events included ear barotrauma and a seizure. Many of the trials were noted to have methodological weaknesses including absence of blinding of outcome assessors, lack of a justifiable sample size calculation and limited follow-up.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the healing of diabetes-related lower limb ulcers and reduces the requirement for amputation. Confidence in these results is limited by significant design weaknesses of previous trials and inconsistent findings. A more rigorous trial regarding the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is needed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.