This week, researchers also delivered their findings on the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment for Crohn’s disease.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) delivers 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber, increasing tissue oxygen levels and regulating inflammatory pathways,” the study authors wrote.

“With a pooled overall clinical response rate of 87 percent and low adverse event rate, our review emphasizes the potential clinical benefit and safety of adjunctive HBOT in refractory cases of fistulizing Crohn’s disease,” they added.

Fistulas can occur when inflammation from Crohn’s causes ulcers or sores to develop on the inside of the intestinal walls or on nearby organs. Abscesses (a collection of pus) can also cause fistulas to develop.

Most commonly in Crohn’s, this can occur between two areas of the intestine or between the intestine and other organs like the vagina or bladder.

In women with Crohn’s, fistulas can also form between the rectum and vagina.

The researchers said there was a high clinical response rate to the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Experts say this is promising.

“Hopefully, with more robust data to support such therapy, it will become part of the IBD guidelines at some point. Then, there would be hope that such therapy becomes popular and widely used as soon as insurance companies start paying for this treatment as the standard of care,” Dr. Florence M Hosseini-Asliania, a gastroenterologist at The University of Kansas Health System and faculty at Kansas University Medical Center, Division of Gastroenterology, told Healthline.

Between 35 and 50% of adults living with Crohn’s will develop a fistula.

Bedford says that while biologic therapies have been useful in the treatment of fistulizing Crohn’s disease, the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be a helpful addition.

“We’ve always had quite a difficult time in dealing with the fistulizing disease of Crohn’s. With the advent of these biologics, it truly has helped and saved us, but it’s not the panacea. So using hyperbaric oxygen as a supplement or even as a potential primary therapy, certainly would be beneficial,” he said.

Cited from HealthLine