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Clinical and morphological effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in patients with interstitial cystitis associated with fibromyalgia

  • Bosco, Gerardo1
  • Ostardo, Edoardo2
  • Rizzato, Alex1
  • Garetto, Giacomo3
  • Paganini, Matteo1
  • Melloni, Giorgio4
  • Giron, Giampiero5
  • Pietrosanti, Lodovico5
  • Martinelli, Ivo5
  • Camporesi, Enrico6
  • 1 University of Padova, Environmental and Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Padova, Italy , Padova (Italy)
  • 2 Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria degli Angeli, Unità Operativa di Urologia, Pordenone, Italy , Pordenone (Italy)
  • 3 ATIP Centro di Medicina Iperbarica, Padova, Italy , Padova (Italy)
  • 4 Harvard School of Medicine, Department of Statistics, Boston, MA, USA , Boston (United States)
  • 5 OTI Services, Centro di Medicina Iperbarica, Venezia, Italy , Venezia (Italy)
  • 6 TGH, TEAMHealth Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, USA , Tampa (United States)
Published Article
BMC Urology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s12894-019-0545-6
Springer Nature


BackgroundInterstitial Cystitis (IC) is a debilitating disorder of the bladder, with a multifactorial and poorly understood origin dealing with microcirculation repeated damages. Also Fibromyalgia (FM) is a persistent disorder whose etiology is not completely explained, and its theorized alteration of pain processing can compromise the quality of life. Both these conditions have a high incidence of conventional therapeutic failure, but recent literature suggests a significant beneficial response to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). With this study, this study we evaluated the effects of HBOT on quality of life, symptoms, urodynamic parameters, and cystoscopic examination of patients suffering from both IC and FM.MethodsWe structured an observational clinical trial design with repeated measures (questionnaires, urodynamic test, and cystoscopy) conducted before and 6 months after a therapeutic protocol with hyperbaric oxygen for the treatment of patients suffering from both IC and FM. Patients were exposed to breathing 100% oxygen at 2 atm absolute (ATA) in a multiplace pressure chamber for 90 min using an oro-nasal mask. Patients undertook a cycle of 20 sessions for 5 days per week, and a second cycle of 20 sessions after 1 week of suspension.ResultsTwelve patients completed the protocol. Changes after HBOT were not significant, except for hydrodistension tolerance (mean pre-treatment: 409.2 ml; mean post-treatment: 489.2 ml; p < 0.05). A regression of petechiae and Hunner’s ulcers was also noted 6 months after the completion of HBOT.ConclusionsOur study showed no improvement of symptoms, quality of life, and urodynamic parameters, except for hydrodistension, and a slight improvement in cystoscopic pattern. However, to date, we could not demonstrate the significance of overall results to justify the use of HBOT alone in patients with IC and FM. This observation suggests that additional studies are needed to better understand if HBOT could treat this subset of patients.Trial registrationNCT03693001; October 2, 2018. Retrospectively registered.

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