Radiation Effects-- What does that include?

Radiation damage occurs in every tissue and organ radiated, to varying degrees, leading to a progressive obliterative endarteritis (inflammation of the insides of arteries.) that causes tissue ischemia and fibrosis.

The endarteritis, fibrosis, and hypoxia may also cause other problems: radiated bowel syndrome, radiation mucositis, soft tissue radionecrosis, laryngeal radionecrosis, dermatitis, radiation cystitis, osteoradionecrosis, enteritis, laryngeal radionecrosis, and surgical wounding in radiation-damaged tissues (late radiation effects).

After radiation a small percentage of patients develop soft tissue or bone necrosis; progressive, disabling, painful, and potentially fatal due to tissue breakdown and loss of protective barriers.

Benefits From Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Experimental studies of the effect of HBO on tumor radiosensitivity

    HBOT effects Radiation injury in the following ways:

    • Saturates the effected area as well as ALL tissues in the body with oxygen
    • Fibroblastic proliferation begins
    • Initiates efficient collagen synthesis
    • Reduces inflammation and swelling
    • Reduces pain and discomfort
    • Heals damaged tissue with less scarring and no major side effects for most patients
  • A United States Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service "Health Technology Assessment Report on the Treatment of Soft Tissue Radionecrosis" concluded, "there is little controversy in the medical community regarding the safety and effectiveness of HBOT as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of soft tissue radionecrosis."
  • Surgery in previously irradiated tissue is problematic and associated with fatalities. Adjunctive HBOT has changed this by improving tissue healing, resolving radiation necrosis, preventing radiation necrosis, and supporting reconstructive surgery in irradiated tissues.
  • Mechanism of delayed healing following radiation injury involves lack of clear border of injury. The gradual oxygen gradient is insufficient to trigger healing. HBOT creates a steep artificial gradient, which triggers growth of new blood vessels and collagen production.
  • 94% of 124 cases of radiation necrosis led to significant improvement following HBOT. (Slade and Cianci 1998)
  • Of the 206 patients of Hart and Strauss (1986) who underwent treatment of Osteoradionecrosis of the mandible, 72% had an excellent result, 10% a good response, 15% a fair response. The remaining 3% were failures.
  • Five of six patients being treated with HBOT as an adjunct for Radiation encephalopathy improved by clinical and imaging criteria. (Chuba et al 1997)
  • Fedlmier et al (1998) presented 17 patients treated for delayed radiation injuries which developed into non healing wounds. 11 of these patients had complete resolution of these wounds, while the rest showed modest to little improvement.
  • Norkool et al (1993) treated 14 patients with radiation induced cystitis using HBOT. There was complete resolution or marked improvement in 74% of these patients.