Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by chronic inflammation of the lining of the colon and/or rectum 1. It is estimated that between 4 – 20 people out of 100,000 have UC in the U.S 2. UC causes sores and ulcers to form in the GI tract, as well as bloody stool, abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea and weight loss 3. Most research on the effects of HBOT on UC are case-studies. Individuals in these case-studies experienced significant improvement in as little as 5 days, and one experienced remission for a 6- month period 4. Such improvements are likely due to an increase in anti-inflammatory markers and a decrease in inflammatory markers observed in animal and human studies 5, 6. A review of literature on HBOT and IBD concluded that HBOT is a safe and potentially effective treatment for UC but recommends further study in the area 7

Results of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Significant symptom improvement
  • Decreased inflammatory markers
  • Increased anti-inflammatory markers

Listen to Justin & Sunny talk bout their son Bryce’s experience with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat his Ulcerative Colitis

Reduces Inflammation & Swelling

Suppresses the cellular activity of the immune system which triggers swelling when an injury or damage to the body occurs.  While this reaction is meant to start healing and protect from injury it can result in secondary injury, pain, and prolonged recovery time.

Preserves, Repairs, & Enhances Cellular Functions

Boosts cellular metabolism, promotes rapid cell reproduction, and enhances collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein in connective tissues like skin.

Key Research on Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Multifocal osteonecrosis in a patient with anamnestic ulcerative colitis. Is there a relationship with the disease and the use of glucocorticoids twenty years before? A brief review of the literature.

In 2013 a 40 year old man came to visit in our Rheumatology Unit because of a recent bilateral shoulder and hip pain. He had been treated from 1990 to 2000 with Cyclosporin A and Sulfasalazyn because of an ulcerative colitis which was completely in remission from 2000 . Glucocorticoids at the mean daily dose of 50 mg were administered only in the first period (1990-92). X-plain rays showed a suspicious multifocal osteonecrosis of both femoral and humeral heads. Magnetic Resonance confirmed the diagnosis (stage III and IV following Ficat and Arlet’s criteria). The patient was treated with a cycle of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, with two cycles of intravenous clodronate and with a 2-month cycle of teriparatide.

Enhanced colonic nitric oxide generation and nitric oxide synthase activity in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Recent studies have suggested that nitric oxide (NO.), the product of nitric oxide synthase in inflammatory cells, may play a part in tissue injury and inflammation through its oxidative metabolism. In this study the colonic generation of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and nitric oxide synthase activity was determined in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Colonic biopsy specimens were obtained from inflammatory bowel disease patients and from normal controls. Mucosal explants were cultured in vitro for 24 hours and NOx generation was determined. Nitric oxide synthase activity was monitored by the conversion of [3H]-L-arginine to citrulline. Median NOx generation by inflamed colonic mucosa of patients with active ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis was 4.2- and 8.1-fold respectively higher than that by normal human colonic mucosa. In ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis nitric oxide synthase activity was 10.0- and 3.8-fold respectively higher than in normal subjects.

HBOT for inflammatory bowel disease

Traditionally, hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) has been used to treat a limited repertoire of disease, including decompression sickness and healing of problem wounds. However, some investigators have used HBOT to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Comprehensive searches were conducted in 8 scientific databases through 2011 to identify publications using HBOT in IBD. Human studies and animal models were collated separately.

Exposure to increased pressure or hyperbaric oxygen suppresses interferon-gamma secretion in whole blood cultures of healthy humans.

This study examines the effects of hyperoxia, increased atmospheric pressure, and hyperbaric oxygen on cytokine synthesis.

Five healthy volunteers were exposed to 90 min of room air, 100% oxygen, 10.5% oxygen at 2 atm abs, or 100% oxygen at 2 atm abs (HBO2). All subjects were blinded and randomly exposed to each of the 4 conditions.

Immediately before entering the chamber, immediately after exposure, and 3 and 24 h later, blood was drawn and stimulated ex vivo with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and phytohemagglutinin A (PHA).

Hyperbaric oxygen improves healing in experimental rat colitis.

This study was designed to investigate therapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen on experimentally induced colitis in rats by assessing oxidative tissue damage, neutrophil accumulation and histological changes.

Six groups of animals were used. No procedures were done in the sham group. In the vehicle group, 50% ethanol-induced colitis, and in four other groups, 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid-induced colonic inflammation was achieved. In acute and chronic colitis non-treatment groups, no other procedure was done. In acute and chronic colitis hyperbaric oxygen treatment groups, rats underwent hyperbaric oxygen treatment for two or fourteen days.

The Role of Chemokines and Chemokine Receptors in Mucosal Inflammation

Recent studies have suggested that nitric oxide (NO.), the product of nitric oxide synthase in inflammatory cells, may play a part in tissue injury and inflammation through its oxidative metabolism

In this study the colonic generation of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and nitric oxide synthase activity was determined in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Colonic biopsy specimens were obtained from inflammatory bowel disease patients and from normal controls. Mucosal explants were cultured in vitro for 24 hours and NOx generation was determined. Nitric oxide synthase activity was monitored by the conversion of [3H]-L-arginine to citrulline. Median NOx generation by inflamed colonic mucosa of patients with active ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis was 4.2- and 8.1-fold respectively higher than that by normal human colonic mucosa.

Recent News on Hyberbaric Oxygen Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Schedule a Consultation






Additional Research

Hyperbaric Oxygen for Hospitalized patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

One quarter of patients with ulcerative colitis will develop a severe acute exacerbation of disease during their lifetime. Despite high dose corticosteroids, half of these patients will fail subsequent medical rescue therapy, and half will require colectomy within 5 years. Dulai and colleagues report the results of a fascinating, double blind, sham controlled, proof of concept trial which demonstrated that administration of short term hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at the point of presentation with severe UC was able to rapidly induce short term remission and avoid the need for urgent second line medical rescue therapy. Further dose finding studies are underway.

read more

Multifocal osteonecrosis in a patient with anamnestic ulcerative colitis. Is there a relationship with the disease and the use of glucocorticoids twenty years before? A brief review of the literature.

In 2013 a 40 year old man came to visit in our Rheumatology Unit because of a recent bilateral shoulder and hip pain. He had been treated from 1990 to 2000 with Cyclosporin A and Sulfasalazyn because of an ulcerative colitis which was completely in remission from 2000 . Glucocorticoids at the mean daily dose of 50 mg were administered only in the first period (1990-92). X-plain rays showed a suspicious multifocal osteonecrosis of both femoral and humeral heads. Magnetic Resonance confirmed the diagnosis (stage III and IV following Ficat and Arlet’s criteria). The patient was treated with a cycle of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, with two cycles of intravenous clodronate and with a 2-month cycle of teriparatide.

read more

Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell transplantation combined with hyperbaric oxygen treatment for repair of traumatic brain injury.

Transplantation of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) for repair of traumatic brain injury has been used in the clinic. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment has long been widely used as an adjunctive therapy for treating traumatic brain injury. UC-MSC transplantation combined with HBO treatment is expected to yield better therapeutic effects on traumatic brain injury. In this study, we established rat models of severe traumatic brain injury by pressurized fluid (2.5-3.0 atm impact force). The injured rats were then administered UC-MSC transplantation via the tail vein in combination with HBO treatment.

read more

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates colonic stem cells and induces mucosal healing in patients with refractory ulcerative colitis: a prospective case series.

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) is used as part of treatment in a variety of clinical conditions. Its use in the treatment of ulcerative colitis has been reported in few clinical reports. We report the effect of HBO on refractory ulcerative colitis exploring one potential mechanism of action. A review of records of patients with refractory ulcerative colitis who received HBO was conducted. Clinical and histopathological scoring was utilised to evaluate the response to HBO therapy (HBOT). All patients manifested clinical improvement by the 40th cycle of HBOT. The median number of stool frequency dropped from seven motions/day (range=3-20) to 1/day (range=0.5-3), which was significant (z=-4.6, p<0.001).

read more

Reinforcement of the bactericidal effect of ciprofloxacin on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm by hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection is the most severe complication in cystic fibrosis patients. It is characterised by antibiotic-tolerant biofilms in the endobronchial mucus with zones of oxygen (O2) depletion mainly due to polymorphonuclear leucocyte activity. Whilst the exact mechanisms affecting antibiotic effectiveness on biofilms remain unclear, accumulating evidence suggests that the efficacy of several bactericidal antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin is enhanced by stimulation of the aerobic respiration of pathogens, and that lack of O2 increases their tolerance. Reoxygenation of O2-depleted biofilms may thus improve susceptibility to ciprofloxacin possibly by restoring aerobic respiration.

read more

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for chronic antibiotic-refractory ischemic pouchitis.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to be efficacious in treating various conditions, including perianal Crohn’s disease. Here we present a case of a 59-year-old male with a history of ulcerative colitis, who underwent a total proctocolectomy and two-stage J-pouch construction. He later developed chronic antibiotic-refractory pouchitis with endoscopic features of ischemia. At the completion of HOBT-a total of 20 sessions of 100% oxygen at 2.5-3.0 atmospheres absolute for 60-90 minutes per session-a repeat pouchoscopy showed marked improvement of endoscopic mucosal inflammation. HBOT is known to increase tissue oxygenation, reduce tissue hypoxia, alter inflammatory pathways and promote tissue healing.

read more

Enhanced colonic nitric oxide generation and nitric oxide synthase activity in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Recent studies have suggested that nitric oxide (NO.), the product of nitric oxide synthase in inflammatory cells, may play a part in tissue injury and inflammation through its oxidative metabolism. In this study the colonic generation of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and nitric oxide synthase activity was determined in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Colonic biopsy specimens were obtained from inflammatory bowel disease patients and from normal controls. Mucosal explants were cultured in vitro for 24 hours and NOx generation was determined. Nitric oxide synthase activity was monitored by the conversion of [3H]-L-arginine to citrulline. Median NOx generation by inflamed colonic mucosa of patients with active ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis was 4.2- and 8.1-fold respectively higher than that by normal human colonic mucosa. In ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis nitric oxide synthase activity was 10.0- and 3.8-fold respectively higher than in normal subjects.

read more

Systematic review: The safety and efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for inflammatory bowel disease.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) provides 100% oxygen under pressure, which increases tissue oxygen levels, relieves hypoxia and alters inflammatory pathways. Although there is experience using HBOT in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the safety and overall efficacy of HBOT in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown. To quantify the safety and efficacy of HBOT for Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The rate of adverse events with HBOT for IBD was compared to the expected rate of adverse events with HBOT. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Collaboration and Web of Knowledge were systematically searched using the PRISMA standards for systematic reviews. Seventeen studies involving 613 patients (286 CD, 327 UC) were included.

read more

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy does not improve the effects of standardized treatment in a severe attack of ulcerative colitis: a prospective randomized study.

Complementary therapy options are needed in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis (UC). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to have positive effects in experimental models of colitis and perianal Crohn’s disease. In the present prospective randomized open-label study, HBOT in addition to conventional medical treatment was compared with conventional treatment alone. The primary objective in this study was improved clinical outcome evaluated by Mayo score, laboratory tests and fecal weight. The secondary objectives were improvement in health-related quality of life, avoidance of colectomy and evaluation of HBOT safety. The authors found no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in any of the assessed variables.

read more

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy does not improve the effects of standardized treatment in a severe attack of ulcerative colitis: a prospective randomized study.

Complementary therapy options are needed in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis (UC). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to have positive effects in experimental models of colitis and perianal Crohn’s disease. In the present prospective randomized open-label study, HBOT in addition to conventional medical treatment was compared with conventional treatment alone. The primary objective in this study was improved clinical outcome evaluated by Mayo score, laboratory tests and fecal weight. The secondary objectives were improvement in health-related quality of life, avoidance of colectomy and evaluation of HBOT safety. The authors found no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in any of the assessed variables.

read more

References
  1. Mattos, Bruno Rafael Ramos de, Maellin Pereira Gracindo Garcia, Julia Bier Nogueira, Lisiery Negrini Paiatto, Cassia Galdino Albuquerque, Caique Lopes Souza, Luís Gustavo Romani Fernandes, Wirla Maria da Silva Cunha Tamashiro, and Patricia Ucelli Simioni. “Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Overview of Immune Mechanisms and Biological Treatments.” Mediators of Inflammation 2015 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/493012.
  2. Stratton, Jennifer, et al. “Ulcerative Colitis Pathology.” Overview, Epidemiology, Etiology, 13 Apr. 2017, https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2005396-overview#a2
  3. “Ulcerative Colitis – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326.
  4. Rossignol, Daniel A. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Analysis.” Medical Gas Research 2, no. 1 (March 15, 2012): 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-9912-2-6
  5. Akin, M. L., B. M. Gulluoglu, H. Uluutku, C. Erenoglu, E. Elbuken, S. Yildirim, and T. Celenk. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Improves Healing in Experimental Rat Colitis.” Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine: Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc 29, no. 4 (2002): 279–85. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12797669
  6. Granowitz, E. V., E. J. Skulsky, R. M. Benson, J. Wright, J. L. Garb, E. R. Cohen, E. C. Smithline, and R. B. Brown. “Exposure to Increased Pressure or Hyperbaric Oxygen Suppresses Interferon-Gamma Secretion in Whole Blood Cultures of Healthy Humans.” Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine: Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc 29, no. 3 (2002): 216–25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12670123
  7. Dulai, P. S., M. W. Gleeson, D. Taylor, S. D. Holubar, J. C. Buckey, and C. A. Siegel. “Systematic Review: The Safety and Efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 39, no. 11 (2014): 1266–75. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.12753.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *