One quarter of patients with ulcerative colitis will develop a severe acute exacerbation of disease during their lifetime. Despite high dose corticosteroids, half of these patients will fail subsequent medical rescue therapy, and half will require colectomy within 5 years. Dulai and colleagues report the results of a fascinating, double blind, sham controlled, proof of concept trial which demonstrated that administration of short term hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at the point of presentation with severe UC was able to rapidly induce short term remission and avoid the need for urgent second line medical rescue therapy. Further dose finding studies are underway.

Jairath (2018). Hyperbaric Oxygen for Hospitalized patients with Ulcerative Colitis. The American journal of gastroenterology, 2018 Oct;113(10):1432-1434. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30158711