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Tobias Dünnwald, Julia Held, Petru Balan, Otto Pecher, Thomas Zeiger, Frank Hartig, Erich Mur, Günter Weiss, Wolfgang Schobersberger
(Department of Psychology and Medical Sciences, Institute for Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism, UMIT University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria)
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: SPR4009-4019
Tissue hypoxia contributes to the pathogenesis of several acute and chronic diseases. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) and whole-body warming using low-temperature infrared technology (LIT) are techniques that might improve hypoxemia. Combining HBO and LIT as hyperbaric oxygen therapy combined with low-temperature infrared radiation (HBOIR) might be an approach that results in positive synergistic effects on oxygenation. LIT increases blood flow and could reduce HBO-induced vasoconstriction, and hyperoxia could compensate for the increased metabolic oxygen requirements mediated by LIT. Both LIT and HBO increase the oxygen diffusion distance in the tissues. HBOIR at 0.5 bar has been shown to be safe and feasible. However, physiological responses and the safety of HBOIR at an increased oxygen (O2) partial pressure of 1.4 bar or 2.4 atmospheres absolute (ATA) still need to be determined. The hope is that should HBOIR at an increased oxygen partial pressure of 1.4 bar be safe, future studies to examine its efficacy in patients with clinical conditions, which include peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or wound healing disorders, will follow. The results of pilot studies have shown that HBOIR at an overload pressure is safe and well tolerated in healthy participants but can generate moderate cardiovascular changes and an increase in body temperature. From the findings of this pilot study, due to its potential synergistic effects, HBOIR could be a promising tool for the treatment of human diseases associated with hypoxemia.