Although radiation therapy is a common treatment for head and neck cancer, osteoradionecrosis (ORN) represents a major complication during or after treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen is often mentioned as a prophylactic and therapeutic treatment for ORN. In this article, we review the literature on hyperbaric oxygen therapy in head and neck irradiated patients. The widespread use of such therapy for the prevention and treatment of ORN appears to be based mainly on personal beliefs and experience, as no consensus exists in the scientific literature about its efficacy. Randomized controlled trials are, thus, needed to assess the real impact of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in head and neck irradiated patients. More fundamental research is also needed to clarify the pathophysiology of ORN, which in turn would help identify appropriate treatments.
Chouinard, Giasson, Fortin, , , , , , (2016). HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY FOR HEAD AND NECK IRRADIATED PATIENTS WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL TREATMENTS. Journal (Canadian Dental Association), 2016 Sep;82():g24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28240582