Hyperbaric oxygen therapy shows benefit for pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic progressive lung disease that is becoming more prevalent and poses medical challenges due to the limited therapeutic options available. The rise in the aging process along with the rise in pulmonary complications from long COVID has led to new research studies to help identify potential treatment options. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is emerging as one of them, showing good promise with clinical outcome measures.

To demonstrate HBOT’s influence on this disease, researchers in this study first exposed a group of rats to bleomycin (a chemotherapeutic agent that is known to cause acute pulmonary toxicity) directly into the trahea. This is to induce pulmonary fibrosis. They waited 7 days and then treated the rats with 14 days of HBOT at 2.5 ATA  for 90 minutes.

The rats that were treated with this 2 week course of HBOT demonstrated a marked reduction in TGF-β, which is normally elevated and plays an active role in the development of the fibrosis. 

The findings in this study support the use of HBOT as a potential “life changing” therapy for patients with pulmonary fibrosis <view study>