(HealthDay News) — For patients with diabetes and chronic diabetic foot ulcers, hyperbaric oxygen therapy does not reduce indications for amputation, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Ludwik Fedorko, MD, PhD, from the University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues examined the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in reducing the need for major amputation and improving wound healing in patients with diabetes and chronic diabetic foot ulcers. 

A total of 107 patients with diabetes and foot lesions of at least a 4-week duration were randomly assigned to 30 daily sessions of 90 minutes of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (breathing oxygen at 244 kPa) or sham (breathing air at 125 kPa) in addition to comprehensive wound care. End point adjudication was available for 103 patients.

The researchers found that 13 of 54 patients in the sham group and 11 of 49 in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy group met the criteria for major amputation (odds ratio [OR]=0.91; 95% CI, 0.37-2.28). Twenty-two and 20 percent of patients in the sham and hyperbaric oxygen therapy groups, respectively, were healed (OR=0.90; 95% CI, 0.35-2.31). 

There were no significant differences in other indices of wound healing.

“[Hyperbaric oxygen therapy] does not offer an additional advantage to comprehensive wound care in reducing the indication for amputation or facilitating wound healing in patients with chronic [diabetic foot ulcers],” the researchers wrote.


  1. Fedorko L, Bowen JM, Jones W, et al. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Does Not Reduce Indications for Amputation in Patients With Diabetes With Nonhealing Ulcers of the Lower Limb: A Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Diabetes Care. 2016;doi:10.2337/dc15-2001.