Systematic review of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of radiation-induced skin necrosis

Zachary Borab, Michael D. Mirmanesh, Madeleine Gantz, Alessandro Cusano, Lee Li-Qun Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations


Every year, 1.2 million cancer patients receive radiation therapy in the United States. Late radiation tissue injury occurs in an estimated 5–15% of these patients. Tissue injury can include skin necrosis, which can lead to chronic nonhealing wounds. Despite many treatments available to help heal skin necrosis such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, no clinical guidelines exist and evidence is lacking. The purpose of this review is to identify and comprehensively summarize studies published to date to evaluate the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of radiation-induced skin necrosis. Adhering to PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review of currently published articles was performed, evaluating the use of hyperbaric oxygen to treat skin necrosis. Eight articles were identified, including one observational cohort, five case series, and two case reports. The articles describe changes in symptoms and alteration in wound healing of radiation-induced skin necrosis after treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe intervention with promising outcomes; however, additional evidence is needed to endorse its application as a relevant therapy in the treatment of radiation-induced skin necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Radiation injury
  • Radionecrosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Skin necrosis
  • Soft tissue injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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