Adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen treatment for necrotising soft-tissue infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Morten Hedetoft, Michael H Bennett, Ole Hyldegaard

15 Citationer (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Surgical intervention, broad-spectrum antibiotics and intensive care support are the standard of care in the treatment of necrotising soft-tissue infections (NSTI). Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) may be a useful adjunctive treatment and has been used for almost 60 years, but its efficacy remains unknown and has not been systematically appraised. The aim was to systematically review and synthesise the highest level of clinical evidence available to support or refute the use of HBOT in the treatment of NSTI.

METHODS: The review was prospectively registered (PROSPERO; CRD42020148706). MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and CINAHL were searched for eligible studies that reported outcomes in both HBOT treated and non-HBOT treated individuals with NSTI. In-hospital mortality was the primary outcome. Odds ratio (ORs) were pooled using random-effects models.

RESULTS: The search identified 486 papers of which 31 were included in the qualitative synthesis and 21 in the meta-analyses. Meta-analysis on 48,744 patients with NSTI (1,237 (2.5%) HBOT versus 47,507 (97.5%) non-HBOT) showed in-hospital mortality was 4,770 of 48,744 patients overall (9.8%) and the pooled OR was 0.44 (95% CI 0.33-0.58) in favour of HBOT. For major amputation the pooled OR was 0.60 (95% CI 0.28-1.28) in favour of HBOT. The dose of oxygen in these studies was incompletely reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Meta-analysis of the non-random comparative data indicates patients with NSTI treated with HBOT have reduced odds of dying during the sentinel event and may be less likely to require a major amputation. The most effective dose of oxygen remains unclear.

TidsskriftDiving and Hyperbaric Medicine
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)34-43
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 31 mar. 2021


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