Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials examining the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in people with diabetes-related lower limb ulcers
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Authors: Golledge J, Singh TP
Publication: Diabetic medicine
To examine the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in healing diabetes-related lower limb ulcers through a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
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.
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.
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 assessment of the efficacy of hyperbaric the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is needed.