Clinical and morphological effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in patients with interstitial cystitis associated with fibromyalgia.

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a debilitating disorder of the bladder, with a multifactorial and poorly understood origin dealing with microcirculation repeated damages. Also Fibromyalgia (FM) is a persistent disorder whose etiology is not completely explained, and its theorized alteration of pain processing can compromise the quality of life. Both these conditions have a high incidence of conventional therapeutic failure, but recent literature suggests a significant beneficial response to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). With this study, this study we evaluated the effects of HBOT on quality of life, symptoms, urodynamic parameters, and cystoscopic examination of patients suffering from both IC and FM.

We structured an observational clinical trial design with repeated measures (questionnaires, urodynamic test, and cystoscopy) conducted before and 6 months after a therapeutic protocol with hyperbaric oxygen for the treatment of patients suffering from both IC and FM. Patients were exposed to breathing 100% oxygen at 2 atm absolute (ATA) in a multiplace pressure chamber for 90 min using an oro-nasal mask. Patients undertook a cycle of 20 sessions for 5 days per week, and a second cycle of 20 sessions after 1 week of suspension.

Twelve patients completed the protocol. Changes after HBOT were not significant, except for hydrodistension tolerance (mean pre-treatment: 409.2 ml; mean post-treatment: 489.2 ml; p < 0.05). A regression of petechiae and Hunner's ulcers was also noted 6 months after the completion of HBOT.

Our study showed no improvement of symptoms, quality of life, and urodynamic parameters, except for hydrodistension, and a slight improvement in cystoscopic pattern. However, to date, we could not demonstrate the significance of overall results to justify the use of HBOT alone in patients with IC and FM. This observation suggests that additional studies are needed to better understand if HBOT could treat this subset of patients.

NCT03693001 ; October 2, 2018. Retrospectively registered.

BMC urology. 2019 Nov 05*** epublish ***

Gerardo Bosco, Edoardo Ostardo, Alex Rizzato, Giacomo Garetto, Matteo Paganini, Giorgio Melloni, Giampiero Giron, Lodovico Pietrosanti, Ivo Martinelli, Enrico Camporesi

Environmental and Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy., Unità Operativa di Urologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria degli Angeli, Pordenone, Italy., ATIP Centro di Medicina Iperbarica, Padova, Italy., Environmental and Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy. ., Department of Statistics, Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA., OTI Services, Centro di Medicina Iperbarica, Venezia, Italy., TEAMHealth Research Institute, TGH, Tampa, Florida, USA.

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