The medical treatment of ischemic ulcers in patients with systemic sclerosis remains difficult. Despite the major help provided by vasodilator treatments, the risk of spontaneous or surgical amputation remains high. A 48-year-old female patient from Guadeloupe was treated in our department for diffuse systemic sclerosis present for 15 years complicated by lung, joint and digestive involvement, and associated with severe Raynaud’s phenomenon. The clinical course was marked by the occurrence of multiple ischemic ulcers, which were resistant to conventional medical treatment and resulted in two surgical amputations (to the 2nd and 3rd interphalangeal joints of the toes of the left foot). Treatment with an endothelin-receptor antagonist and a calcium inhibitor was then introduced for secondary prevention. Two years later, the patient consulted for a further ischemic ulcer of the left 4th toe. She refused the proposed treatment with iloprost. Because of the unfavorable outcome and the absence of therapeutic alternative to amputation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was initiated. Thirty 90-minutes sessions of pure oxygen at 2.5 ATA were conducted over a 10-week period. Complete healing was obtained after 8 months. We report herein a clinical case illustrating the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of ischemic ulcers of the toes in systemic sclerosis. It could offer an alternative therapeutic option, in particular for patients presenting resistant ischemic ulcers and a contraindication for or intolerance to the conventional medical treatment.

Poirier, Wind, Cordel (2017). [Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of ischemic toe ulcer in a patient presenting systemic sclerosis]. Annales de dermatologie et de venereologie, 2017 Jan;144(1):55-59. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27476378